Firms tip balance in Bill rethink

FOUR CITY firms have been instrumental in forcing the Government to reconsider its provision for dealing with social landlords in the current Housing Bill.

Warner Cranston, Clifford Chance, Berwin Leighton and Allen & Overy wrote to the Government and the Opposition outlining concerns about the legislation which would unintentionally prevent housing associations borrowing money and receiving funds for low-cost rented accommodation.

In a House of Commons standing committee debate last Thursday, Housing Minister David Curry agreed to postpone clauses relating to legislation making it difficult for housing associations to borrow money for low-cost housing.

All four letters were quoted in the debate as the Government announced it would “reconsider recommendations” and further consult with housing associations and banks over lending arrangements.

Ian Fagelson, company and commercial partner at Warner Cranston, was present at the debate. He said: “It is encouraging to know law firms can have an effect on government decision-making at such a high level. Partly as a result of the letters, the Government are literally tearing up their original proposals and are being forced to rethink the whole business.”