Friday, 19 December 2014

Kerslake warns sector to expect more change

The top civil servant at the Communities and Local Government department has warned the housing sector to prepare for more reforms in the months ahead.

Speaking at a reception hosted by Inside Housing last night, Sir Bob Kerslake said housing leaders should ‘expect there to be more change and more innovation going on, particularly as we move up to the autumn statement’.

Chancellor George Osborne is expected to make his ‘autumn’ economic statement on 5 December.

Sir Bob - who is also head of the civil service - said it has been ‘quite a year in housing’, citing the implementation of the Localism Act, and the reform of the housing revenue account as ‘landmarks’ as well as the package of housing stimulus measures introduced in September.

He urged housing leaders to make the most of these initiatives: ‘People need to be trying out new ideas and be bold in what they do.’ But said further changes are also in the pipeline.

‘Housing is massively important for this government,’ he said. ‘It is seen as high priority, both in CLG, as you’d expect, but actually with the prime minister as well, who has got actively involved in this agenda and actively tracked – believe me he tracks it very actively – the whole programme.’

He added: ‘It is pretty clear what government wants to see here. It is to see more housing, more homes delivered, and for that in turn to drive economic growth.’

Readers' comments (7)

  • Yes indeed - Call-me-Dave is clearly taking an interest. To make sure private landlords and city slickers get lots of money, working people have insecure accommodation and few if any rights about where they live, owner occupation is restricted to the richest, publically provided housignand services are wiped out and housing associations complete their (willing) transition into fully fledged private landlords.

    Expect to see:
    Enforced outsourcing of social housing management under the auspices of the Open Services White Paper.
    Restrictions on HRA borrowing caps
    Easier-to-do stock transfers without the need for troublesome ballots and maybe even with some subsidy to ease the privatisation of council housing
    Further pressure for the widespread use of insecure 'flexible' tenancies by social landlords
    Reduced homelessness obligations
    Tax breaks and subsidies for private landlords
    Reduced if not entirely abandoned social security for unemployed home buyers as the gory detail of Universal credit drips out of the warped mind of Ian 'Demento'-Smith
    Easing of the regulation of housing assocaitions so they can strutt off to the City and become fully fledged parasites, freed of all that boring baggage about 'engaging stakeholders' and 'putting tenants first' and 'being at the heart of our communities'.

    Pass the sleeping bag Alice...

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  • yes Gresley the offensive has commenced with the experiments underway at H & F. et al. the drive for vibrant mixed communities with of course no benefit scroungers or other undeserving poor people, however important their work and contribution to society is. is well under way. equally all the nonsense and spite of shapps and uncle eric were of course with the full nodding assent of call me dave and blame me not nick

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  • Jimmy Cricket

    "more innovation" = less funding to both organisations and their residents/customers.

    Expect the worst!!

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  • Eric Blair

    Mr Kerslake's pronouncements always closely mirror those of the Government. I don't think too many landlords (or other people!) will be surprised when Gideon wheels out his misguided £10bn. cuts package.

    Mr K. is simply preparing the ground... rubber-stamping the Coalition's policies. Anyone would think he's after a tap on each shoulder from the Royal sword. 'Arise Sir K.' Special K?

    What kind of innovations would he be capable of? None, I would suggest.

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  • Chris

    C'mon Sense - your avatar is now £3bn out of date - I know you wanted originally to make the point of Labour's benefit spending being a horrific amount (which it was), but surely out of credibility you now need to update it to show the outcome of two-and half years of Toryism, spending more and borrowing more whilst GDP continues to shrink to beneath that of what were once looked down upon as third world economies, such as Brazil.

    Whilst the actions to come hinted at by Kerslake are cause for consideration, the continued wrecking of the economy is the biggest danger. Your Avatar is almost now reflecting back to better times - or is that now your position!

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  • Gavin Rider

    Gresley - not always a fan, but on this occasion I see not much wrong with your analysis.

    This government's stance on housing is Un-B-F-ing-lievable.

    And as for David Cameron's recent proclamations on the subject, they are about as believable to those in need of social housing as Jeremy Clarkson proclaiming a need for greater fuel economy in motor vehicles.

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  • i totally agree with Gresley’s comments.
    the real agenda of this right wing gov is the privisation of social housing and the creation of a totally landless class. they are well on their way with welfare. provision through a structured coercion roll out of policies designed to dismantle the welfare state..God help us all.

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