Conversion to Community Benefit Society
Following consultation and careful consideration Shoreline has decided to convert from a registered charity to a Community Benefit Society.
So, what’s a Community Benefit Society?
Well, all organisations have a legal structure that sets out who owns it, the tax it pays, what happens to its profits, how decisions are made and who it is regulated by.
Shoreline is currently a charitable company registered with Companies House. A Community Benefit Society is an alternative to a ‘company’. It is an organisation whose purpose is to serve the interests of the wider community. Any profit it makes must be used to benefit the community to help make improvements, even if the company is sold or merged with another organisation.
As a Community Benefit Society, Shoreline will still be charitable and a registered provider of social housing regulated by the Homes and Communities Agency.
The Homes and Communities Agency will make sure we comply with the same regulatory, home and other standards as we do now. HM Revenue and Customs will make sure we comply with general charity law requirements.
It is very common for registered providers of social housing like Shoreline to be Community Benefit Societies. In fact, nearly half of the 1720+ housing associations registered with the Homes and Communities Agency are Community Benefit Societies.
What was the outcome of the consultation?
Thanks to those of you who provided us with feedback following the conversion consultation. We only received 412 responses from the 8,744 people we contacted (a response rate of just under 5%) and of these:
- 189 of you were in favour of conversion
- 15 of you were against conversion
- 208 of you commented but had no preference.
While the consultation wasn’t a vote or referendum, we carefully considered this feedback before making our final decision and so given the fact that we had both a very low response to the question and that a majority were in favour of the proposal, the Board of Shoreline has decided that it should go ahead with the conversion.
So what now?
We’ll be busy behind the scenes converting to a Community Benefit Society. We hope the conversion will be complete by the end of the year.
What do I need to do?
As a Shoreline tenant or leaseholder you don’t need to do anything. This is about the legal status of Shoreline. Nothing will change for you – your rights, repairs, rent and charges will be unaffected.