Thursday, 23 October 2014

Inside Housing

View all stories from this issue.

  • 24-hour party walls people


    Modern methods of construction are revolutionising the sector. Mario Ambrosi visits Space4, whose factory-built homes are winning over housing associations

  • Beacon shortlist for council excellence announced


    A total of 80 councils have been shortlisted by the government for the fifth round of its beacon council scheme recognising excellence in local authorities.Bolton, Bristol, Derby, Leicester, Southwark, Kingston-upon-Thames and Wigan councils have all be

  • Break with the past


    The Housing Corporation has turned the investment world upside down, argues Mark Lupton. The government has demanded change but will housing associations rejoice in the revolutionary fervour or flee fearfully into exile?

  • Choosing the best


    With an ever increasing range of new products, how does a developer separate the wheat from the chaff? Peter Marten explains John Laing Partnership's approach to getting to grips with the latest innovations

  • Continued fears over insolvency ruling


    Lenders have stepped up their drive to persuade the government to make legislative changes to ensure that housing associations remain exempt from company insolvency laws.The Council of Mortgage Lenders called a meeting with the Housing Corporation and

  • Cooper: 1935 overcrowding definition cannot be defended


    The present definition of overcrowding is indefensible, junior housing minister Yvette Cooper has admitted.Speaking in a Westminster Hall debate on the issue, Ms Cooper conceded she sympathised with many of the points raised by MPs pressing for a change

  • Councils should tax to invest in the suburbs


    Councils should be able to impose an additional tax on homeowners to fund investment in services, infrastructure and the local environment, according to the Civic Trust.The trust is calling for the introduction of suburban investment districts to stop t

  • Couple to lobby for affordable homes cause


    A Cornish couple have formed an organisation to counter resistance to affordable housing developments as the gulf between local wages and house prices widens.Set up after proposals to build affordable homes were thwarted by opposing residents, Support A

  • Curry to ‘look at the lot' in cabinet


    Conservative leader Michael Howard has appointed an experienced former minister to relaunch the party's housing policy in the run-up to the next general election.David Curry has been brought back into the shadow cabinet as shadow local and devolved go

  • Development corporation in capital to focus on new housing


    London's new urban development corporation will steer clear of existing housing areas under proposals due to be published next week.Inside Housing has learnt that the new UDC, which is being set up to spearhead a step change in housing provision in the

  • Egan to advise on Gateway plans


    Sir John Egan has been appointed by the government as an adviser on the Thames Gateway to bring a business perspective to the plans for the growth area.Announcing the appointment Prime Minister Tony Blair said Sir John would be a ‘link to employers and

  • EP: Brownfield land short of target


    The government's target of building 60 per cent of new homes on brownfield land could be hit by a lack of developable sites, English Partnerships has warned.The regeneration agency, which has been charged with advising the Office of the Deputy Prime M

  • Equity hybrid is answer to crisis


    A revised version of the equity stakes model is the solution to the key worker housing crisis, a 15-month research project has concluded.A report by CDS Co-operatives and the New Economics Foundation recommends combining a Swedish-style shared equity co

  • Financial help to improve private homes


    Four out of five councils are planning to develop new financial packages to improve house conditions in the private sector, a government-sponsored report has found. The study looks at the impact of the regulatory reform (housing assistance England and W

  • Government gives green light to developer grants


    The Housing Bill will set out powers for the Housing Corporation to pay grant to private developers despite the array of opposition to the idea.In his response to the select committee's report on the draft Housing Bill, Deputy Prime Minister John Pres

  • Government to be questioned over overdue ALMO freedoms paper


    The National Federation of ALMOs is to ask the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister what has happened to consultations on freedoms and flexibilities at a high-level meeting later this month.Gordon Perry, the NFA's chair, is set to meet civil servants to

  • Grant access welcomed by private sector


    'Bring it on,' was the response from private developers to John Prescott's confirmation that the Housing Bill will allow them access to Housing Corporation grant.The bill will include a provision to enable the corporation and the Welsh Assembly to pay g

  • Green rules


    Environmental campaigners are calling on the government to introduce more stringent energy efficiency standards. David Singleton looks at the current regulations and hears the case for change

  • Head count finds fall in rough sleeping


    A fall in rough sleeping in the capital has been identified in a spot survey by the Simon Community.The community's bi-annual headcount found 236 people sleeping rough in eight London boroughs early on Sunday morning. The figure, which the Office of the

  • High-profile chief on cards for corporation


    Fevered speculation on who will replace Norman Perry (pictured) at the head of the Housing Corporation began almost as soon as his departure was announced.Guinness Trust head Simon Dow, who was interim chief executive at the corporation following the de

  • Hull leaders in crisis talks


    The government was poised this week to intervene at Hull Council following a damning report on governance problems stemming largely from the authority's handling of its housing stock.Local government minister Nick Raynsford summoned key figures from t

  • MPs press for rural solutions


    Leaders of a 100-strong group of Labour MPs will meet housing minister Keith Hill ‘within weeks' to press for funding and planning reforms aimed at doubling the rate at which affordable homes are built in rural areas.The so-called Rural Group has devi

  • New audit regime will save millions


    The Audit Commission expects to save taxpayers £24 million annually through its new scaled-down regulatory regime.At least 250 jobs will be cut over two years as part of a light touch audit and inspection role, with probes being triggered according to ‘

  • Older homeless people ignored


    The needs of older homeless people are virtually ignored by policy and decision-makers, it was claimed this week.The Coalition Older Homelessness Project has been launched to bridge the gap. It will take forward more than four years' work testing and de

  • Ombudsman appalled by TMO crisis


    Salford Council has been criticised for ignoring complaints of criminal activity and mismanagement alleged to have taken place at a tenant management organisation.The TMO, which cannot be named for legal reasons, has managed the council homes since Janu

  • On the offensive


    Everyone seems to have it in for council planners. David Blackman goes on the front-line with a planning authority that's fighting back

  • On their marks


    Genesis Housing Group and Bedfordshire Pilgrims Housing Association have been selected by the Housing Partnership to develop more than 1,600 new homes, across 56 sites, in three years. David Singleton finds out how they plan to meet the challenge

  • Perry denies Places role in departure


    The Housing Corporation has emphatically denied that chief executive Norman Perry's early departure has any connection with his handling of the Places for People boardroom row.Dr Perry is to stand down in March after three and a half years in the job. H

  • Perry leaves early as Dixon looks for change of style


    Housing Corporation chief executive Norman Perry has said the future for the organisation remains secure despite the announcement that he is to leave in five months' time.Dr Perry announced this week that he had agreed with chairman Peter Dixon that i

  • Poor repairs service blamed for low rating


    A poor responsive repairs service has contributed to Nuneaton and Bedworth Council's no-star rating from the Audit Commission.Inspectors said the Warwickshire council had promising prospects for improvement – but only if it followed a detailed action pl

  • Quality control ‘requires vigorous inspections'


    The Audit Commission has defended its record on housing association inspection claiming the only difference between its approach and the Housing Corporation's was one of ‘quality control'. A spate of critical reports has sparked concern among associatio

  • Raynsford acts on Hull


    The government will intervene at Hull Council following today's publication of a damning Audit Commission report which found ‘wide-ranging weaknesses' stemming largely from the authority's handling of its housing stock.Local government minister Nick R

  • Reports may harm reputation


    The recent spate of damning inspection reports could damage the reputation of the housing association sector among those who provide its funding, lenders have warned.The caution comes after the Audit Commission's new inspection regime last week contri

  • Right to buy applications drop as Scots restrictions take effect


    Right to buy applications in Scotland have fallen back after a huge rush last year before restrictions came into force.In 2002, applications ran to more than 28,000 – nearly 8,000 more than in both of the two previous years. But in the second quarter of

  • Sector helps break down the barriers


    Housing providers across the European Union are actively involving disabled people in the creation of a new generation of homes to meet their needs, a continent-wide survey has found.Breaking down the barriers was commissioned by the European Liaison Co

  • Subsidy fears cause cuts in affordability


    Councils in one of England's most expensive housing hotspots are considering relaxing their affordable housing demands on developers amid the confusion triggered by the abolition of local authority social housing grant.In an interview with Inside Housin

  • Tariffs threat to affordable homes


    The government's proposals to speed up the planning process through the use of tariffs could see fewer affordable homes being built, the housing sector has warned.In a consultation launched by housing minister Keith Hill last week the government set o

  • Tributes as senior civil servant retires


    Whitehall's top housing civil servant, Genie Turton, is to retire from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in May.Ms Turton, director-general of housing, homelessness and planning, was instrumental in drawing up the Communities Plan. She is also the

  • Turton to leave top job


    Whitehall's top housing civil servant, Genie Turton, is to leave the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in May.Ms Turton, director general of housing, homelessness and planning, was instrumental in drawing up the Communities Plan. She is also the ODP

  • Water supply warning over Gateway proposals


    Government plans to build 150,000 extra homes in the Thames Gateway and at Ashford pose a major threat to water supplies in the south-east of England, former environment minister Michael Meacher has warned.‘Water is the most critical element in the gove

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