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Housing and Regeneration Act 2008

Section 68 - Basic principle

126.This section defines social housing for the purposes of this Act. Under this Act registered providers (defined at section 80) are primarily regulated in respect of their provision of social housing. The definition ensures that registered bodies will not be regulated in respect of their other activities, e.g. provision of housing for sale on the open market.

127.Subsection (1) explains that there are two types of social housing – (a) low cost rental accommodation (defined by section 69) and (b) low cost home ownership accommodation (defined by section 70).

128.Subsection (2) states that accommodation which becomes “social housing” by satisfying subsection (1)(a) or (b) remains “social housing” unless an event specified in sections 73 to 76 occurs (e.g. sale to a tenant, expiry of a lease or disposal with the regulator’s consent). This subsection ensures that, once designated as social housing, accommodation continues to be social housing and subject to the regulator’s standards (e.g. on rents and management) and enforcement powers unless one of the specified events occurs.

129.Subsection (3) refers to section 77 which ensures that certain accommodation is to be treated as “social housing” whether or not it satisfies subsection (1)(a) or (b). This will ensure that accommodation provided by existing RSLs is designated as “social housing” even if, for example, rents are not below market rents. This will ensure that homes subject to regulation under the existing regulation system remain regulated under the new system.

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