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Housing and Regeneration Act 2008

Section 72 – Regulations

141.Subsection (1) allows the Secretary of State to make regulations providing that specified property (or a specified class of property) is or is not to be treated as social housing. This allows the Secretary of State to ensure, for example, that all homes funded through public investment are designated as social housing. This is necessary to allow decisions on the classification of new types of social housing (in particular low cost home ownership arrangements) which are likely to be developed in future.

142.Subsection (2) states that the regulations may provide for property to be social housing despite not satisfying section 68(1)(a) or (b) – i.e. not meeting the definitions of low cost rental accommodation or low cost home ownership accommodation where the Secretary of State thinks the property is of a kind, or is provided in circumstances, that serve the needs of a group whose needs are not adequately served by the commercial housing market. This may, for example, cover housing for vulnerable people.

143.Subsection (3) states that the regulations:

  • may override section 68(2)

  • are subject to section 68(3) and section 77

  • are subject to sections 69 and 70 (but may clarify doubt about the application of those sections).

144.Paragraph (a) means that the Secretary of State can make regulations which specify that certain property is not social housing, even if it had previously satisfied section 68(1)(a) or (b). This power is necessary to correct any errors of classification that become apparent over time.

145.Paragraph (b) means that the regulations cannot override sections 68(3) and 77 which ensure that homes currently regulated by the Housing Corporation under the 1996 Act are regulated under the new system.

146.Paragraph (c) means that the regulations can clarify the application of the definitions of low cost rental and low cost home ownership, but cannot fundamentally alter them. However section 70(7) separately allows the Secretary of State to make regulations amending the definition of low cost home ownership.

147.Subsection (4) states that the regulations may make provision by reference to-

  • the opinion of the regulator or another specified person;

  • designation, agreement or other action by the regulator or another specified person.

148.This could, for example, include property funded under an agreement with the HCA and designated by the HCA as social housing.

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