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Housing association quashes charity status concerns
THE housing association which bought Wycombe's 6,700 council homes last year has moved to quash suggestions it has not met its promise to become a charity.
Questions were raised over the status of Red Kite Community Housing at a public meeting last week.
Although it is not listed with the Charities Commission, bosses have assured tenants it does have charitable status, as it pledged to them in its offer when a vote was held last year.
Zosia Katnik, spokesman for Red Kite, explained: “Red Kite is a not-for-profit organisation with charitable rules and is recognised as a charitable company by HM Revenue & Customs, reference number XT31035. Red Kite is not a Registered Charity, which is why it is not registered with the Charities Commission.
"The first audited accounts for Red Kite are in the process of being submitted to the FSA in accordance with legislative requirements and will be made available through their website shortly.”
Red Kite is an Industrial and Provident Society, registered with the Financial Services Authority, as of July 2011.
Miss Katnik said: “Currently, those that are charities are 'exempt' charities. They cannot register with the Charity Commission, but are otherwise subject to charity law. HMRC decides whether they are eligible for tax relief as charities.”
The concerns were raised after research by the Wycombe Labour group.
Red Kite has also clarified its position, regarding company status.
Miss Katnik said: “It is listed on the Companies House register of companies and the FSA Mutuals Public Register websites and has been since its registration in July 2011.”
Dr Linda Derrick, putting the questions to Wycombe District Councillors on October 1, had asked for clarification over whether Red Kite was also in keeping with its stated position as a not for profit organisation.
Miss Katnik said: “Whilst the accounts of an IPS may show a surplus, the important fact is that any surpluses are not distributed to shareholders but must be reinvested in accordance with the charitable objects of the IPS. In the case of Red Kite, this means reinvested in the homes and services that we provide.”