Housing corporate services

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Our housing corporate and governance team has significant experience of advising on group restructuring, stock transfers, business acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures and other collaborative working models. We also provide guidance on the associated regulatory, charity law and governance issues.

Never has it been more important to ensure that, as a housing association, you have clear strategic objectives and that these can be delivered and enhanced by your corporate structure. The Value for Money Standard requires all housing association boards to undertake regular and appropriate reviews of how potential value for money gains can be achieved, including giving full consideration to the costs and benefits of alternative commercial, organisational and delivery structures.

Whether you are looking to streamline your corporate structure, acquire a new business or ‘hive off’ part of your existing business, accept or dispose of a stock transfer or enter into a joint venture or other collaborative working approach, our team can help. We provide expert, innovative, solutions-focused and tailored support.

Our specialists regularly advise housing associations of all sizes on structuring their businesses effectively in order to align with their strategic objectives whilst still meeting regulatory, charity law and best practice expectations, as well as maintaining tax efficiency. This encompasses establishing ‘design and build’ subsidiaries to improve VAT mitigation in relation to development activities; ‘outright sale’ vehicles to carry out development and sale of outright sale properties so as to ringfence risk and improve tax efficiency; and ‘JV hubs’ to act as a member in corporate joint venture structures.

We have seen a growing trend for collaboration in the sector, including mergers, partnership working and joint ventures. This is a trend we only expect to continue as the push for achieving value for money gains further emphasis. Our experts have advised on a wide range of joint ventures, from single site contractual joint ventures to multi-site longer-term arrangements.

Our team’s in-depth knowledge of the social housing sector, combined with the commercial expertise of the wider firm, brings a unique offering to clients. We are also specialists in charity law, co-operative and community benefit society law, company law and social housing regulation. This level of technical expertise ensures that our advice takes account of all legal factors relevant to your organisation.

We offer expert advice on:

  • group restructuring and rationalisation
  • stock transfers
  • business acquisitions and disposals
  • joint ventures
  • collaborative working arrangements
  • governance, regulatory and charity law issues

Recent work highlights

Successful local authority partnership

Assisting in establishing a joint venture between a local authority and a housing association in order to develop and manage affordable homes in the local authority area. This model was then replicated by the housing association with another local authority.

Formation of joint venture exit strategy

Advising a large North East housing association on exiting a current joint venture arrangement in order to establish another joint venture with a commercial developer with the aim of developing out several mixed tenure sites.

Three-way consolidation and restructuring

Acting on the consolidation of three larger housing associations within one group and the associated commercial/subsidiary restructure.

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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP