News

All the latest breaking stories from the affordable housing sector.

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HCA probes landlords

HCA probes landlords over market risk

22/07/2016 7:30 am | By Heather Spurr

The English social housing regulator is probing housing associations that are particularly exposed to a housing market downturn following the Brexit vote.

housing finance

Notting Hill Housing Group boosts surplus to £125m

22/07/2016 3:32 pm | By Pete Apps

A London housing association has upped its surplus to £125m as it built 1,170 homes in the capital.

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Association secures £50m financing deal

22/07/2016 3:31 pm | By Pete Apps

A rural housing association has secured a £50m private placement to help build 600 homes by 2021.

Gavin Barwell

Barwell urged to set out Local Plan reforms

22/07/2016 2:39 pm | By Sophie Barnes

MPs have called on the new housing minister to set out how he will reform the process of making Local Plans.

Stock pic of pre-decimal cash till

Circle boosts surplus and cuts costs

22/07/2016 1:22 pm | By Pete Apps

Circle Housing has recorded a 27% increase in surplus and stripped £25m in cost out of its business to mitigate the rent cut.

Stock pic of empty wallet

Arrears spike following bedroom tax

22/07/2016 11:04 am | By Heather Spurr

The proportion of social housing tenants with rent arrears spiked following the introduction of the bedroom tax,  new data reveals.

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Landlords enter merger talks

22/07/2016 10:32 am | By Carl Brown

Two housing associations are in early merger talks to create a landlord owning more than 28,000 homes.

rates fall low interest cost bond finance

Associations put up 'tens of millions' to cover cash calls

22/07/2016 7:30 am | By Pete Apps

Housing associations have put up “tens of millions” in additional security to banks as a result of financial turmoil following the EU referendum.

HCA regulator social housing

Housing association found 'non-compliant'

21/07/2016 5:10 pm | By Heather Spurr

A housing association has been judged ‘non-compliant’ on both governance and financial viability after a damning report by the social housing regulator.

Gas safety

Paradigm rapped over gas safety failure

21/07/2016 2:55 pm | By Heather Spurr

A housing association led by the former head of the social housing regulator has been criticised by the Homes and Communities Agency for gas safety failures.

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Development

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Landlords enter merger talks

22/07/2016 | By Carl Brown

Two housing associations are in early merger talks to create a landlord owning more than 28,000 homes.

Terri Alafat

CIH outlines measures to boost affordable housing

21/07/2016 | By Pete Apps

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) has outlined a package of measures to boost affordable housing development post-Brexit.

Former Ministry of Defence properties at Howe Barracks in Canterbury.

Investors sought for 40,000 Armed Forces homes

20/07/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

Senior figures linked to a Ministry of Defence department are seeking to encourage investors to buy around 40,000 Armed Forces homes from a private company.

stock market crash

CEBR: Brexit impact could cost economy £142.5bn

19/07/2016 | By Pete Apps

A Brexit-triggered stall in house building could wipe £142.5bn off the economy over the next 10 years and cost 120,000 jobs in the construction sector.

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NHF: flexibility could see 300,000 homes built

19/07/2016 | By Pete Apps

Housing associations could hike their housebuilding by 50% to 60,000 homes per year if the government accepts the sector’s call for grant flexibility.

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NHF calls for grant flexibility in 'offer' to government

19/07/2016 | By Pete Apps

The social housing sector will up its delivery of new homes if the government relaxes its rules on £7bn of housing grant, David Orr has said.

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Associations built more than 40,000 homes last year

18/07/2016 | By Pete Apps

Housing associations completed more than 40,000 homes in 2015/16, with 43% of these built outside the government’s Affordable Homes Programme.

For use in Inside Housing, 22 July 2016

New housing minister appointed

17/07/2016 | By Carl Brown

Gavin Barwell has been appointed as the new housing minister.

WHITEHALL

Sector awaits new housing minister as Lewis moves to Home Office

16/07/2016 | By Carl Brown

Brandon Lewis has been moved from the post of housing minister to the Home Office.

develop

MPs issue call for new ombudsman

15/07/2016 | By Carl Brown

A group of MPs has published its report calling for the government to set up a new ombudsman to resolve disputes between buyers of new homes and house builders.

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Repairs

Former Ministry of Defence properties at Howe Barracks in Canterbury.

Investors sought for 40,000 Armed Forces homes

20/07/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

Senior figures linked to a Ministry of Defence department are seeking to encourage investors to buy around 40,000 Armed Forces homes from a private company.

Former Ministry of Defence properties at Howe Barracks in Canterbury.

Armed forces left without heating and hot water, finds PAC

13/07/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

The Ministry of Defence and one of its contractors are “badly letting down” armed forces’ families by giving them “poor accommodation”, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has concluded.

repairs

Midlands council could set up repairs company

12/07/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

Stoke-on-Trent Council is considering setting up a company to deal with the repairs and maintenance of its council housing.

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North East associations set up cost-sharing vehicle

08/07/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

Two housing associations in the North East have set up a cost-sharing company in a bid to drive down their spending.

Northern Ireland Housing Executive building on Adelaide Street in Belfast

NIHE repairs contracts announced

08/07/2016 | By Pete Apps

The Northern Irish Housing Executive (NIHE) has named four contractors to carry out up to £1bn of repairs across its 87,000 homes over the next 10 years.

repairs

Contracts may need to be altered post Brexit

28/06/2016 | By Corin Williams

Housing associations have been told they may need to increasingly alter their asset management services contracts in the wake of political and financial instability caused by the UK’s forthcoming exit from the EU.

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Materials supply framework launched

17/06/2016 | By Pete Apps

A buying club has launched its latest procurement framework – a list of materials suppliers for public sector organisations to access.

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Association to demolish new blocks due to defects

25/05/2016 | By Carl Brown

A housing association is to demolish 48 homes just six years after they were built after uncovering a wide range of defects in the development.

Money, surplus, annual results, financial, finance, accounts

Mitie grows profit in 'year of two halves'

23/05/2016 | By Pete Apps

A major contractor has grown its operating profit from property management to £15.8m, despite a “year of two halves” in its social housing business.

Spanners

Morgan Sindall lands £300m contract

29/04/2016 | By Carl Brown

Basildon Council has awarded Morgan Sindall a £300m contract to maintain and repair its housing stock and corporate buildings.

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Tenancies

Scottish parliament

Reduce 'LHA cap' impact, say Scottish landlords

20/07/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

Scottish ministers should use their new welfare powers to ease the impact of UK government cuts to housing benefit, housing experts have said.

merger

Tenants consulted on alternative merger code

19/07/2016 | By Carl Brown

Social landlords seeking to develop an alternative merger code have launched a major project to gauge tenants’ views on association structural changes.

Shutterstock

Complaints about social landlords ease off

19/07/2016 | By Carl Brown

The number of complaints and enquiries about social landlords received by the Housing Ombudsman Service has levelled off following a huge increase over the last few years.

Brandon Lewis

Councils free to decide on Pay to Stay rents

14/07/2016 | By Heather Spurr

Ministers have said it is up to councils to decide how they determine ‘market rent’ levels under the Pay to Stay policy.

Supply and demand

Household numbers to grow by 210,000 a year

13/07/2016 | By Carl Brown

The number of households in England is projected to increase by an average of 210,000 a year until 2039, according to official figures.

tenants table board

Tpas publishes engagement standards

13/07/2016 | By Carl Brown

Tpas has published guidelines for landlords to follow in order to promote tenant engagement.

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Cash strapped councils turn down 21% of DHP applications

13/07/2016 | By Gavriel Hollander

English councils with tenants hit hardest by welfare cuts are turning down one in five applicants for a hardship fund.

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Lenders: Policies not addressing ownership fall

08/07/2016 | By Heather Spurr

Successive government policies since 2010 have failed to address the fall in first-time buyers, mortgage lenders say.

Room of cannabis plants

Senior judges block tenant's eviction despite cannabis farm

07/07/2016 | By Pete Apps

A housing associations’ bid to evict a tenant who had 300 cannabis plants in her spare bedroom has been dismissed by senior judges.

Two figures sitting on a pile of one pound coins

Third of councils top-up DHP pots

07/07/2016 | By Pete Apps

A third of councils dug into reserve budgets to support struggling tenants as their government-allocated hardship funding ran dry.

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Eco

Northampton

Zero Carbon Hub to close

30/03/2016 | By Pete Apps

The body set up to implement the now abandoned Zero Carbon Homes target will cease operations tomorrow.

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Research finds 'shocking' crash in energy measures

21/03/2016 | By Pete Apps

The Treasury has been criticised for failing on energy efficiency, after new research revealed a “truly shocking” crash in the number of home energy efficiency installations.

Pic of solar panel, builders gloves and hammer

Labour will not back bid to block solar cuts

02/02/2016

Labour peers will not support a Liberal Democrat push to block devastating cuts to solar subsidies in the House of Lords.

Pic of solar panel, builders gloves and hammer

Solar installations paused after 5,000th home

20/01/2016 | By Pete Apps

A Sunderland-based housing association will “pause” its solar panel installations, after a race against time to get as many fitted before government cuts kick in.

Man fitting solar panel on roof

Associations race to install solar panels

12/01/2016 | By Pete Apps

Housing associations are working to install solar panels before the government cuts subsidies next month.

12 days of xmas day  SUSTAINABILITY

Sustainability - 2015 highlights

05/01/2016 | By IH reporters

Over the 12 days of Christmas, we have been reflecting on the best of our news, analysis and opinions coverage on the website since 1 January 2015. Each day we have picked a different topic. Today, for the last in the series, we focus on sustainability

DECC is seeking to change RHI application process

Councils to pioneer solar batteries

22/12/2015 | By Pete Apps

Four London councils are piloting the use of solar-charged batteries on their social housing, as government cuts to subsidies leave traditional rooftop panel installations “unviable”.

For use in Inside Housing, 18 September 2015

Boris presses ahead with zero carbon standard

23/11/2015 | By Carl Brown

Boris Johnson has announced he will push ahead with the implementation of the zero carbon homes standard in London despite the government axing planning regulations to promote it.

Gas

Energy company strikes deal with housing association

11/11/2015 | By Pete Apps

An energy company has struck an exclusive deal to supply a Merseyside housing association as it targets a major expansion into social housing.

energy bills

Places for People unveils energy company

26/10/2015 | By Carl Brown

Places for People has announced it has set up an energy company.

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Finance

housing finance

Notting Hill Housing Group boosts surplus to £125m

22/07/2016 | By Pete Apps

A London housing association has upped its surplus to £125m as it built 1,170 homes in the capital.

housing money  house 559

Association secures £50m financing deal

22/07/2016 | By Pete Apps

A rural housing association has secured a £50m private placement to help build 600 homes by 2021.

Stock pic of pre-decimal cash till

Circle boosts surplus and cuts costs

22/07/2016 | By Pete Apps

Circle Housing has recorded a 27% increase in surplus and stripped £25m in cost out of its business to mitigate the rent cut.

MERGER SENSE CAROUSEL 559px

Landlords enter merger talks

22/07/2016 | By Carl Brown

Two housing associations are in early merger talks to create a landlord owning more than 28,000 homes.

rates fall low interest cost bond finance

Associations put up 'tens of millions' to cover cash calls

22/07/2016 | By Pete Apps

Housing associations have put up “tens of millions” in additional security to banks as a result of financial turmoil following the EU referendum.

HCA regulator social housing

Housing association found 'non-compliant'

21/07/2016 | By Heather Spurr

A housing association has been judged ‘non-compliant’ on both governance and financial viability after a damning report by the social housing regulator.

balance sheet

Affinity Sutton records 15% surplus increase

20/07/2016 | By Carl Brown

Affinity Sutton has recorded a 15% increase to its surplus and maintained its high operating margin as it continues to prepare for its ‘mega-merger’ with Circle.

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East London landlord borrows £250m

19/07/2016 | By Pete Apps

A specialist east London housing association has secured £250m of bank finance to acquire and develop 800 new homes.

For sale sign

No major house price crash, forecasts PWC

19/07/2016 | By Carl Brown

House prices will slow but there will be no major crash as a result of the Brexit vote, Pricewaterhouse Cooper (PWC) has predicted.

merger

Tenants consulted on alternative merger code

19/07/2016 | By Carl Brown

Social landlords seeking to develop an alternative merger code have launched a major project to gauge tenants’ views on association structural changes.

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Legal

Room of cannabis plants

Senior judges block tenant's eviction despite cannabis farm

07/07/2016 | By Pete Apps

A housing associations’ bid to evict a tenant who had 300 cannabis plants in her spare bedroom has been dismissed by senior judges.

John Healey

Healey: associations must find their voice again

10/06/2016 | By Pete Apps

Labour’s shadow housing minister John Healey has warned housing associations need to “find their voice again” after a failure to lobby effectively against the Housing and Planning Bill.

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Council to pay £26.8m water bill refund to tenants

09/06/2016 | By Heather Spurr

A London council faces paying a £26.8m refund to tenants who were overcharged for water, in a case that could have implications for many other landlords.

Finance director, Glasgow Housing Association

Ex-finance director faces voyeurism charges

26/05/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

The ex-finance director of the largest housing association in Scotland has been charged with offences related to voyeurism.

affordable

Court backs government planning policy

12/05/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

The Court of Appeal has backed a government decision to waive affordable housing requirements for small developments.

STRIKE_2

'Blacklisting' case settled out of court

09/05/2016 | By Pete Apps

Construction firms will pay £10m to workers who claimed they were blacklisted for union activities, concluding a long-running legal battle.

Elderly Accommodation Council to get £1.5 million

DCLG: Tenancies change will not hit protected groups

05/05/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

The phasing out of lifetime tenancies will not negatively impact protected demographic groups overall, the government has said.

Trudy Ali Balogun

Housing officer jailed over homelessness fraud

04/05/2016 | By Pete Apps , Agencies

A council housing officer was jailed for five years today after a “sophisticated” fraud which saw her process 23 bogus homelessness applications.  

Westminster Parliament government

Peers push back on Housing and Planning Bill

04/05/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

Peers are pushing back on the government’s rejection of their amendments in the Housing and Planning Bill.

Westminster Parliament government

Government rejects Lords amendments

29/04/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

The government has rejected a number of the House of Lords’ amendments to the Housing and Planning Bill, but has introduced some concessions to reflect concerns raised by peers.

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Care

Westminster Parliament government

Minister delays supported housing announcement until autumn

20/07/2016 | By Heather Spurr

The government has put off an announcement into the future funding of supported housing until after the summer recess.

David Bogle

Hightown takes on support services contracts from Radian

18/07/2016 | By Pete Apps

A Hertfordshire-based landlord has taken on 30 care and support services from another association.

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Cash strapped councils turn down 21% of DHP applications

13/07/2016 | By Gavriel Hollander

English councils with tenants hit hardest by welfare cuts are turning down one in five applicants for a hardship fund.

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DWP plans longer-term supported housing exemption

08/07/2016 | By Heather Spurr

Ministers plan to extend an exemption for supported housing from the ‘Local Housing Allowance cap’ as they seek a long-term solution to the problem.

Two figures sitting on a pile of one pound coins

Third of councils top-up DHP pots

07/07/2016 | By Pete Apps

A third of councils dug into reserve budgets to support struggling tenants as their government-allocated hardship funding ran dry.

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NHF launches campaign to save supported housing

04/07/2016 | By Heather Spurr

Housing associations have launched a campaign to secure the future funding of supported housing, as the government prepares to publish a review of the sector.

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Homelessness rises in first quarter

30/06/2016 | By Corin Williams

The number of homeless households in England has increased by 9% in the first quarter of the year, compared with the same period in 2015.

Lord Freud

Freud faces criticism for lack of 'LHA cap' clarity

29/06/2016 | By Corin Williams

The welfare reform minister faced criticism for failing to provide details of the government’s plan for funding supported housing, despite recommendations from the sector to solve the impasse.

supported housing

NHF calls for regulated body in supported housing review

29/06/2016 | By Heather Spurr

Supported housing providers should register with an independent regulator to continue to access extra housing benefit, the National Housing Federation (NHF) has said.

Retirement scheme

London landlord launches major retirement drive

21/06/2016 | By Pete Apps

A London housing association plans to quadruple its output of retirement housing, with a £150m drive into multi-tenure housing for older people.    

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Regulation

HCA probes landlords

HCA probes landlords over market risk

22/07/2016 | By Heather Spurr

The English social housing regulator is probing housing associations that are particularly exposed to a housing market downturn following the Brexit vote.

HCA regulator social housing

Housing association found 'non-compliant'

21/07/2016 | By Heather Spurr

A housing association has been judged ‘non-compliant’ on both governance and financial viability after a damning report by the social housing regulator.

Gas safety

Paradigm rapped over gas safety failure

21/07/2016 | By Heather Spurr

A housing association led by the former head of the social housing regulator has been criticised by the Homes and Communities Agency for gas safety failures.

develop

MPs issue call for new ombudsman

15/07/2016 | By Carl Brown

A group of MPs has published its report calling for the government to set up a new ombudsman to resolve disputes between buyers of new homes and house builders.

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Large housing association rated 'non-compliant'

11/07/2016 | By Heather Spurr

The social housing regulator has downgraded a housing association’s governance to a non-compliant rating over “significant weaknesses” in its information about its housing stock.

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Landlords to answer VFM questions

06/07/2016 | By Heather Spurr

Housing associations will have to defend higher than usual costs or demonstrate they are making savings in future ‘in-depth assessments’ (IDAs), the social housing regulator has said.

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Regulator upgrades Circle's governance rating

29/06/2016 | By Heather Spurr

The social housing regulator has upgraded the governance rating of a housing association, following its downgrade last year over its poor repairs service.

For use in Inside Housing, 18 September 2015

CIH bid to mend 'tense' local government relationships

28/06/2016 | By Heather Spurr

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) has announced a drive to fix the “tension” between councils and housing associations following the extension of the Right to Buy.

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SHR warns deregulation could hit lender confidence

20/06/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

The Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) has warned the government that cutting back its powers to avoid reclassification of associations as public bodies could affect lender confidence.

cut red tape

Charity Commission insists rules 'not onerous'

14/06/2016 | By Heather Spurr

The charity regulator has urged housing associations to think twice before they deregister with the body, saying its regulations are “not onerous”.

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