Core CLT business
All CLTs need to continue to meet their obligations set out in their rules, or articles of association. This means processing membership applications, holding board meetings and AGMs, and submitting returns to the regulator.
- How you can host an AGM online:
- Guidance on engaging with members and potential disruptors:
- The Financial Conduct Authority has issued guidance for Community Benefit Societies touching on applications, annual returns and accounts, and AGMs.
- Wrigleys Solicitors, onr of our corporate partners, has a good FAQ on holding meetings and maintaining good governance during COVID-19 for charities, social enterprises and community groups.
- Anthony Collins Solicitors, another corporate partner, has also produced an excellent COVID-19 briefing covering related issues.
- The Chartered Governance Institute and Lorraine Young Board Advisory Services have put together a guidance note on Good practice for virtual board and committee meetings which covers how to complete nearly every aspect of these important meetings online.
- Scottish Housing News has posted advice for holding general meetings during COVID-19 for Registered Social Landlords/Registered Providers.
- The Confederation of Co-operative Housing also has guidance that may be helpful on operational management during the crisis.
If you have tenants and residents that you manage directly, or you work with your managing agent or partner housing association, you should find these useful:
- Summary of Chartered Institute of Housing advice on tenant engagement
- Inside Housing updates on Government coronavirus advice for housing providers
- National Housing Maintenance Forum’s repairs and maintenance Q&A
- Housing LIN’s guide to tenant engagement for specialist housing providers
Site and plan work
If you are working to acquire a site and obtain planning permission, a lot of this can carry on relatively unaffected by COVID-19. But deep and meaningful community engagement should probably be put on hold. Here is some useful guidance:
- Savills have produced guidance on the implications for the planning system.
- The Government's Chief Planning Officer published a newsletter with guidance for planning authorities, encouraging them to continue processing applications during this time.
- Government guidance for neighbourhood planning now has a section on COVID-19, noting for example that referendums must be postponed, and strongly implies that public consultation should wait until the Government lifts the lockdown restrictions.
- Cross-sector housing industry body the Housing Forum has developed a useful wrap-up of how the housing industry more generally is responding to COVID-19, and what they see as challenges. Important information for groups to know as they interact with other parts of the housing industry supply chain!
Moving your work online
Many CLT boards, steering groups etc are still meeting and continuing to move their projects forward with online meetings. These are some good resources to help you do this:
- BBC tips for working from home
- Local Trust’s guide to staying connected
- The Confederation of Co-operative Housing’s guide to moving work online
- Doodle lets people select times that work for them from given options
- Google Drive, Docs and Sheets
You can use Google programmes to collaborate with others in real-time -- and it’s free! To get started, you can access Google Docs through your Google (Gmail) account, or register for one if you haven’t already.
- Zoom tutorial. Zoom is an easy way to hold a meeting for groups. You can even upgrade to have access to breakout rooms.
- Jitsi tutorial. Jitsi has the basic competencies of Zoom but its free version has no limits in time.
- Google Hangouts tutorial. Google Hangouts is ideal for having quick chats with members of your team. Not recommended for more than 3-4 people.
Check any terms of funding you've already received, and talk to your funders if you think you will struggle to deliver what was agreed, to the timetable agreed.
If you need extra funding at this time, here are some good options:
Demonstrating the ‘C’ in Community led housing
COVID-19 Mutual Aid UK is a central website for local organising to support the most vulnerable in our communities. Some of these include ways you can help from home
Regional Resources and Volunteering Opportunities