We are in the process of converting Weaver Vale Housing Trust Limited from a charitable company into a charitable community benefit society (CBS), and we want to let you know what this change means for you, our customers.
The Government is removing a number of regulatory requirements made of social landlords, like us.
At the moment we are a limited company registered at Companies House, if we changed to a Community Benefit Society then we would be registered by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This would not have any impact on us as your landlord, and it wouldn't affect your rights as a customer.
A CBS is a special type of not-for-profit organisation, specifically formed to benefit the community.
A lot of other housing organisations have made this move because it is simpler - we would only have to answer to one regulator, which would be the Regulation of Social Housing (RSH).
We won’t be changing out name – we will still be known as Weaver Vale Housing Trust going forward. This will not affect our day to day business and we will continue to deliver all the services you have come to expect from us, as well as our ongoing commitment to deliver new homes and value for money. You can read our full Value for Money Statement here
Becoming a Community Benefit Society – Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some key question and answers where we can explain a little more about the move.
What is a CBS?
A CBS is a special type of not-for-profit organisation registered with the FCA, and specifically formed to benefit the community. A CBS is a legal structure which contains many of the same features as our existing structure (we would become an exempt charity and keep our charitable status) but is simpler.
Why change to a CBS?
The Government is removing a number of regulatory requirements made of social landlords, like Weaver Vale Housing Trust. A knock on effect of this change is that charitable companies like us will fall into a more complicated regulatory regime, when compared to other housing providers. Many other housing organisations are converting to CBSs too – it is happening across the social housing sector as landlords try to increase value for money, and protect funding for housing services and providing new homes.
Will this move affect me as a customer?
The simple answer is that the will be no real impact to our customers.
There would be no changes to the type of services we offer as a result of this proposal, and it will still be us who deliver these services. Neither would this proposal affect your rent, or any services charges that you may pay.
Does changing your charity status mean you will no longer house and provide services for people in need?
Since Weaver Vale was formed in 2002, we have always shown a commitment to provide housing for those in genuine need, and this would not change after conversion to CBS status.
Our values remain the same, and we hope that converting to a CBS would better protect the work we do in our neighbourhoods.
How will this impact customer involvement?
This change will have no bearing on opportunities for customer involvement. We welcome your valuable input and we are always looking for customers to get involved with the work we do here at Weaver Vale. If you would like to find out more about volunteering with the Trust, click here
Will this move lead to an increase in my rent?
Weaver Vale will remain as a housing provider, registered with the RSH. As such Weaver Vale will continue to comply with the RSH’s standards and government guidance when it comes to setting our rent. None of your rights as a customer will change as these are protected in law and set out in your tenancy agreement, which will also remain the same.
What are the benefits of changing?
There are a number of advantages for us changing to a CBS. One is that it would cut the number of organisations that we are registered with and all the cost that goes with it. At the moment we are registered with Companies House, the Charity Commission and the RSH. If we became a Community Benefit Society we would only be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority – we still have the RSH to regulate us. We would still be a charity meaning that we would need to comply with all relevant charity laws, as we do now, but we just wouldn't be registered with the Charity Commission.
Will Weaver Vale lose out as a result of not being registered with the Charity Commission?
Not at all. Weaver Vale will still retain all the benefits that come with being a charity.
Have Your Say
If you have any comments, questions or concerns then please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to us.