Accountability regarding the funding from the Charity Commision

Peter Danby made this Freedom of Information request to Charity Commission for England and Wales

The request was successful.

From: Peter Danby

20 November 2011

Dear Charity Commission for England and Wales,

As your aware Hereford Housing Ltd is a registered charity and as
such should be giving duty of care to it's tenants, BUT IS THIS
CASE..?

1) As a registered company does Hereford Housing Ltd have
guidelines to follow regarding the funding..?

2) Are HHL accountable for what they use the money on..?

3) How much money is given to HHL from the Charity Commission each
year 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009

4) Does the charity commission know what the money is spent on that
is given to HHL..?

5) Does the money given to HHL go on anti social behavior and
repairs?

6) If people have anti social behavior from neighbors, does the
funding you give HHL cover tenants for repairs/water damage..?

Yours faithfully,

Peter Danby

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From: Web Enquiries
Charity Commission for England and Wales

20 November 2011

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Becky Bbear left an annotation (21 November 2011)

Quote-marks Hi Peter,

Sorry but you seem to have the wrong idea about how things work.

1. The duty of care exercised by charity trustees is to the charity not its tenants - that part of its operations is purely commercial just like any other business. The fact its a charity makes no difference to what laws/regulations would apply for any other landlord. The commission is not the regulator for landlord/tenant issues, you would need to try elsewhere for advice in that area.

2. As a company it is responsible for accounting for its income/expenditure just like any other, its 'purpose' is to generate the maximum return for itself (which it can then apply in achieving its charitable purposes). Its trustees are not accountable to the charity commission for how they choose to apply funds, as long as they are applied for that/those purposes.

3. The charity commission does not give any money to charities, its just the regulatory authority that decides chartable status and works with charities/trustees to ensure they operate within uk charity law.

4. In terms of accounting for income/expenditure the commission sees the same annual accounts as anyone else, its up to the charity's trustees to see that these comply with uk accounting law/practice. As a uk company the charity sends its annual accounts to Companies House each year and you can contact them to request copies as documents of public record.

5. What proportion of income is applied towards repairs/anti-social behaviour related costs is up to the directors/trustees, just like any other business.

6. Since the charity gets no funding from the commission they couldn't possibly answer this part of your question. They would only have copies of the same accounts you can get from companies house, if those accounts don't break the figures down in that much detail then the commission would know no more than anyone else reading them.

Based on your questions it sounds like you have some kind of landlord/tnenant dispute going on - something that would be outside the range of what the charity commission is responsible for. If so, you should just go talk to your own solicitor for advice.

important things to remember about the Freedom of Information Act is that it doesn't mean the authority you make it to has to go gather information it doesn't already hold, or interpret the information for you.

If you have evidence that the charity is not applying its money properly for its charitable purposes, you could send that evidence to the commission - if you only 'suspect' that is the case then there is nothing they could do to investigate for you, that's something the police would be responsible for and you should contact them.

hope this helps clarify things and saves you some time.

Becky

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From: LCD
Charity Commission for England and Wales

21 November 2011

Dear Mr Danby

 

Thank you for your email.

 

Background information

 

It appears you are under the impression that the Charity Commission is a
funding organisation.  This is not the case.  We do not give money to
charities and have not given any money to Herefordshire Housing Limited.

 

For your information Herefordshire Housing Limited is simultaneously a
registered charity and a registered provider of social housing registered
with the Tenant Services Authority ("TSA").  As a registered provider of
social housing it is possible that the charity has received funding from
the Homes and Communities Agency:

 

[1]http://www.homesandcommunities.co.uk/

 

You could contact the Homes and Communities Agency to see whether they
have provided any grants to the charity.  If you have any specific
questions about how Herefordshire Housing Limited operates you should
contact the TSA.  It has more expertise in dealing with charities that
provide social housing so we have agreed that they are the principal
regulator for charities that are also registered with them.

 

Your questions

 

1) "As a registered company does Hereford Housing Ltd have guidelines to
follow regarding the funding?"

 

I'm not sure to what "funding" you are referring.  However generally
speaking all charities must apply their income to further their charitable
purposes.  Whether specific restrictions apply to a particular source of
funding will depend on whether any conditions are applied by the donor.

 

2) "Are HHL accountable for what they use the money on?"

 

Again I'm not sure to what "money" you are referring.  However as a
registered charity with income of more than £5 million a year
Herefordshire Housing Limited is required to submit its accounts annually
to us.  We publish these on our website so that the public can see them:

 

[2]http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/Sho...

 

Charities with income of more than £1 million a year are also required to
submit a Summary Information Return (SIR), which sets out key information
about the charity's aims, activities and achievements, and again we
publish these on our website.  Further information about these
requirements is on our website:

 

[3]http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/Cha...

 

3) "How much money is given to HHL from the Charity Commission each year
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009"

 

We have given no money to Herefordshire Housing Limited in any of those
years.

 

As we've not given money to the charity I cannot answer your questions
4-6.

 

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If after this you remain dissatisfied with the decision, you may apply
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procedure.  The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The
Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF.

 

Regards

 

Martin Pilkington

 

------------------- Original Message -------------------
From: Danby, Peter
Sent: 20/11/2011
To: CCD Email Team
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Accountability regarding the
funding from the Charity Commision

     Dear Charity Commission for England and Wales,
    
     As your aware Hereford Housing Ltd is a registered charity and as
     such should be giving duty of care to it's tenants, BUT IS THIS
     CASE..?
    
     1) As a registered company does Hereford Housing Ltd have
     guidelines to follow regarding the funding..?
    
     2) Are HHL accountable for what they use the money on..?
    
     3) How much money is given to HHL from the Charity Commission each
     year 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
    
     4) Does the charity commission know what the money is spent on that
     is given to HHL..?
    
     5) Does the money given to HHL go on anti social behavior and
     repairs?
    
     6) If people have anti social behavior from neighbors, does the
     funding you give HHL cover tenants for repairs/water damage..?
    
     Yours faithfully,
    
     Peter Danby
    
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References

Visible links
1. http://www.homesandcommunities.co.uk/
2. http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/Sho...
3. http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/Cha...
4. http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offic...

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