News

All the latest breaking stories from the affordable housing sector.

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building site hate work stopped

Large association stops building cheap rented homes

30/07/2015 2:31 pm | By Pete Apps

A major London housing association has ditched affordable and social rent from its development plans, in a response to George Osborne’s ‘watershed’ budget.

regulation

Landlords seek advice on deregistration after cuts

31/07/2015 0:01 am | By Pete Apps

Housing associations have sought legal advice on deregistering as social landlords, as they consider their options following the Budget’s rent cut.

for rent sign

Close to a third of starts for rental

31/07/2015 0:01 am | By Pete Apps

Around 29% of housing starts in the first quarter of 2015 were homes developed specifically for rent, a new report backed by the British Property Federation (BPF) has said.

house building new homes

New home registrations rise by 7%

31/07/2015 0:01 am

New homes registered by councils and housing associations increased 7% to almost 10,000 in the second quarter of 2015.

Sign outside hotel

West London council 'has no families in B&Bs'

31/07/2015 0:01 am | By Pete Apps

A west London borough has announced it no longer has any families in bed and breakfast accommodation, for the first time in four years.

North of England

Review into housing crisis in the north launches

30/07/2015 2:02 pm | By Pete Apps

A high-profile team of ‘commissioners’ who will carry out a review of housing policy for the north of England have been announced.

regulation

Welsh Government launches inquiry into landlord

30/07/2015 10:52 am | By Pete Apps

The Welsh Government has launched a statutory inquiry into a social landlord relating to a number of allegations surrounding the organisation.

fraud

Surge in Right to Buy fraud in London

30/07/2015 10:35 am | By Carl Brown

The number of detected Right to Buy frauds in London has more than doubled in a year, councils have reported.

Welsh Assembly

Welsh Government urged to act on bedroom tax

30/07/2015 9:18 am | By Corin Williams

Welsh Assembly members have called for greater use of Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) to help tenants struggling to pay rent because of the bedroom tax.

Loft insultation

Landlords seek talks over energy efficiency

30/07/2015 0:01 am | By Corin Williams

Landlords are seeking talks with ministers over how housing associations can deliver energy-efficiency improvements to their stock after the government axed green subsidies last week.

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Development

building site hate work stopped

Large association stops building cheap rented homes

30/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

A major London housing association has ditched affordable and social rent from its development plans, in a response to George Osborne’s ‘watershed’ budget.

Housing building

L & Q set up in-house construction business

18/01/2011 | By Carl Brown

London & Quadrant has set up its own in-house construction business.

for rent sign

Close to a third of starts for rental

31/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

Around 29% of housing starts in the first quarter of 2015 were homes developed specifically for rent, a new report backed by the British Property Federation (BPF) has said.

house building new homes

New home registrations rise by 7%

31/07/2015

New homes registered by councils and housing associations increased 7% to almost 10,000 in the second quarter of 2015.

Planning - use me

Social housing planning approvals rise 27%

29/07/2015 | By Corin Williams

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) has said there is a continuing ‘recovery’ in the number of planning permissions to build social homes.

clive betts

MPs launch inquiry into viability of associations

29/07/2015 | By Carl Brown

A committee of MPs has launched an inquiry into the financial viability and sustainability of housing associations.

Sutton Housing Zone

Three more Housing Zones announced for London

29/07/2015 | By Corin Williams

The Greater London Authority is investing £44m in new Housing Zones for areas in Brent, Westminster and Sutton.

Stock pic of cranes

House builder reports 12% increase in turnover

29/07/2015 | By Carl Brown

Taylor Wimpey has today reported a £12.2% increase in revenues boosted by higher sales prices.

Spanners

Council votes to drop landlord as partner

29/07/2015 | By Corin Williams

One Housing Group is holding urgent talks with Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs after the council passed a motion calling for the housing association to be suspended as its preferred development partner.

Debt price increase post-budget

Association sees debt price increase post-Budget

29/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

A housing association has seen a modest increase in the price of its long-term debt, in one of the first major deals agreed since the Budget.

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Repairs

Spanners

Council votes to drop landlord as partner

29/07/2015 | By Corin Williams

One Housing Group is holding urgent talks with Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs after the council passed a motion calling for the housing association to be suspended as its preferred development partner.

RENT BURNS 559px

Rent changes burn £42bn hole in council plans

17/07/2015 | By Nick Duxbury

Exclusive modelling shows council 30-year business plans will be undeliverable.

Northampton

'Death knell' for zero carbon

13/07/2015 | By Nick Duxbury

Housing and environmental bodies have lashed out at ‘arbitrary and regressive’ government plans to scrap long-anticipated carbon reduction policies for new build homes.

Spanners

Midland Heart eyes direct labour expansion

07/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

One of the largest housing associations in the Midlands will consider expanding its direct maintenance service after it proved ‘more competitive’ than commercial options in its first year.

Affinity Sutton repairs

Further London landlords plot in-house repairs move

07/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

At least three more large London landlords are considering expanding their direct labour services to help meet the challenge of providing a repairs service in the capital.

tool box

L&Q latest to move repairs in-house

03/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

71,000-home landlord follows Affinity Sutton and Southern’s direct maintenance moves

Plumbing

DCH takes repairs service in-house

19/06/2015 | By Pete Apps

One of the largest housing associations in the south west has taken its repairs service in-house.

Spanners

'No clear link between repairs contract size and savings'

19/06/2015 | By Pete Apps

There is ‘no clear link’ between the size of a landlord’s repairs operation and cost savings, according to analysis by Housemark.

Ilo

Construction output fell in April

12/06/2015 | By Glen Munro

Output in the construction industry fell by 0.8% in April compared with the previous month, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

CONTRACT

Contractors for £100m framework announced

11/06/2015 | By Sarah Graham

Seven contractors have been selected for a £100m Decent Homes framework in north London.

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Tenancies

for rent sign

Generation Rent faces 'oblivion' after funding cut

29/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

Generation Rent has launched a crowdfunding campaign to maintain its existence, after having its funding pulled by a major donor.

Oxford

Social landlord scheme to stem 'teacher exodus'

27/07/2015 | By Corin Williams

Catalyst Housing and Oxford City Council have invested £1.5m in an equity loan scheme for teachers in response to fears that many are unable to continue working in Oxford.

Natalie Elphicke

Lifetime tenancies 'only for those in long-term high need'

20/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

Lifetime tenancies should be limited to those with ‘long-term high housing’ needs, such as the ‘highly disabled’ and people in ‘extreme old age’.

For use in Inside Housing, 3 July 2015

Proportion of social housing tenants in work rises in latest national survey

16/07/2015 | By Sarah Graham

The proportion of social housing tenants in work has risen sharply over the last ten years, the latest survey of the English housing sector has revealed.

For sale sign outside house

'Pensions should be used to improve shared ownership'

15/07/2015 | By Emily Twinch

The government should create investment vehicles to help fund the expansion of the shared ownership housing, a House of Commons debate on the product heard yesterday.

sprinkler

Investigation shows lack of sprinklers in tower block homes

15/07/2015 | By Kate Youde

Fewer than 1% of council tower blocks have sprinklers fitted within their homes – despite coroners’ recommendations following fatal flat fires.

keys 400

Government seeks to limit use of lifetime tenancies

08/07/2015 | By Carl Brown

The government will seek to limit the use of lifetime tenancies.

George Osborne

'Pay to stay' measure slammed by landlords

08/07/2015 | By Heather Spurr

George Osborne has been accused of seeking to ‘dismantle’ affordable housing after plans were confirmed to force higher earning social tenants to pay market rent to keep their homes.

pay to stay house guarding

'Pay to stay' rules compulsory for all social landlords

07/07/2015 | By Heather Spurr

New rules forcing social tenants earning higher incomes to pay market rent to stay in their homes will be compulsory for all social landlords in England, the government has confirmed.

Packing cases

Landlord defends planned commune eviction

03/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

A housing association has issued a lengthy-defence of its decision to move out residents of ‘communes’ in London, claiming it is simply ‘carrying out its responsibilities as a landlord’.

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Eco

Loft insultation

Landlords seek talks over energy efficiency

30/07/2015 | By Corin Williams

Landlords are seeking talks with ministers over how housing associations can deliver energy-efficiency improvements to their stock after the government axed green subsidies last week.

Ilo

Government ends new Green Deal funding

23/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

The government will stop funding the Green Deal after ‘low take-up and concerns about industry standards’, leaving the energy efficiency sector ‘battered and bruised’.

SOLAR PANELS

£1bn in solar contracts announced

21/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

Up to £1bn is set to be ploughed into funding the installation of solar panels on social homes, under two frameworks unveiled this week.

High Voltage sign in front of pylons

Landlords put out tender for 'energy offer'

20/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

A consortium of nine social landlords in the north east has put out a tender as it progresses its plans to set up an energy company.

Wind turbine

Landlord energy company ready for launch

16/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

An energy company founded by social landlords will be selling heat and power to 200,000 homes across Scotland by 2020, after receiving backing from the Scottish Government.

Northampton

'Death knell' for zero carbon

13/07/2015 | By Nick Duxbury

Housing and environmental bodies have lashed out at ‘arbitrary and regressive’ government plans to scrap long-anticipated carbon reduction policies for new build homes.

sun 394

Survey shows overheating concern

03/07/2015 | By News team

Two in three professionals working in housing sustainability who responded to a survey have said they are concerned about overheating of homes.

fuel poverty

Committee urges government action on ECO

30/06/2015 | By Jess McCabe

An influential committee has urged the government to bolster support for low-carbon heat and provide at least five years of certainty on funding for energy efficiency retrofit of homes.

ETI retrofit

Right to Buy extension could affect viability of retrofits

25/06/2015 | By Jess McCabe

Housing associations are looking closely at the financial implications of retrofitting homes to make them more energy efficient in the light of the extension of the Right to Buy.

Loft insultation

Landlord launches £85m energy efficiency drive

24/06/2015 | By Jess McCabe , Pete Apps

A housing association has launched a ‘sector-leading’ energy efficiency drive, under which it will plunge £85m into improving almost 30,000 homes.

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Finance

Housing building

L & Q set up in-house construction business

18/01/2011 | By Carl Brown

London & Quadrant has set up its own in-house construction business.

for rent sign

Close to a third of starts for rental

31/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

Around 29% of housing starts in the first quarter of 2015 were homes developed specifically for rent, a new report backed by the British Property Federation (BPF) has said.

clive betts

MPs launch inquiry into viability of associations

29/07/2015 | By Carl Brown

A committee of MPs has launched an inquiry into the financial viability and sustainability of housing associations.

Sutton Housing Zone

Three more Housing Zones announced for London

29/07/2015 | By Corin Williams

The Greater London Authority is investing £44m in new Housing Zones for areas in Brent, Westminster and Sutton.

Stock pic of cranes

House builder reports 12% increase in turnover

29/07/2015 | By Carl Brown

Taylor Wimpey has today reported a £12.2% increase in revenues boosted by higher sales prices.

surplus calculator

Genesis reports drop in surplus

29/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

Genesis has booked a £36.3m surplus for the last financial year, a decrease of around 10% on its figure for the year before.

Debt price increase post-budget

Association sees debt price increase post-Budget

29/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

A housing association has seen a modest increase in the price of its long-term debt, in one of the first major deals agreed since the Budget.

Stock ilo

'Rent cut will not affect existing security'

28/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

The sector’s two major valuers have agreed that George Osborne’s surprise rent cut will not affect existing loan security valuations – ending a fortnight of uncertainty for housing associations.

Building pic

Scottish Government considers higher grant levels

28/07/2015 | By Heather Spurr

Scottish ministers are considering raising social housing grant rates, ahead of the introduction of regulations that are expected to push up build costs.

pension pot

Landlords may move towards 'less generous' pension plans

28/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

Housing associations are likely to move more staff onto less generous retirement plans as a result of the latest increase in contributions to the sector’s pension scheme.  

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Legal

fraud

Surge in Right to Buy fraud in London

30/07/2015 | By Carl Brown

The number of detected Right to Buy frauds in London has more than doubled in a year, councils have reported.

George Osborne holds up his briefcase for the media

Council explores legal options over Budget policies

28/07/2015 | By Corin Williams

Cambridge City Council is to ask local MPs for help in lobbying against the housing policies set out in the Budget and may pursue a legal challenge.

affordable housing

Rent cut will not stop conversions to affordable rent

15/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

Housing associations will be allowed to convert socially rented properties to affordable rent under the new rent regime – despite confusion over the wording of the new welfare bill.

Northampton

'Death knell' for zero carbon

13/07/2015 | By Nick Duxbury

Housing and environmental bodies have lashed out at ‘arbitrary and regressive’ government plans to scrap long-anticipated carbon reduction policies for new build homes.

gavel

Legal challenge to rent changes 'effectively ruled out'

13/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

Housing associations are highly unlikely to be able to bring a legal challenge to the government’s surprise ditching of the rent formula, after the changes were included in primary legislation.

Court of appeal

Rent cut could be challenged in High Court

09/07/2015 | By Carl Brown

George Osborne’s unexpected cut to social housing rents could spark a High Court challenge from landlords, lawyers have said.

WHITEHALL

Watchdog warns of association reclassification threat

08/07/2015 | By Carl Brown

Government policies risk pushing housing associations’ £60bn of debt onto the public balance sheet, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has warned.

George Osborne holds up his briefcase for the media

Sector braces for Budget cuts

08/07/2015 | By Carl Brown

The social housing sector is bracing itself for welfare benefit cuts, set to be unveiled by George Osborne this afternoon.

Welsh Assembly

Committee calls for 'stronger' private renting bill

29/06/2015 | By Pete Apps

A new bill aimed at improving the rented sector in Wales must be ‘strengthened’ in several key areas, a committee of Welsh Assembly members has said.

Clipboard

HCA fees plan faces delays

25/06/2015 | By Carl Brown

Regulatory fees for English housing associations look unlikely to come in until 2017 at the earliest unless the communities secretary signs off a consultation paper in the next two to three weeks.

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Care

Sign outside hotel

West London council 'has no families in B&Bs'

31/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

A west London borough has announced it no longer has any families in bed and breakfast accommodation, for the first time in four years.

JOB CENTRE PLUS

Calls for more flexibility over Work Programmes

23/07/2015 | By Carl Brown

The government should allow housing associations more flexibility to choose their clients when providing employment support.

gavel

Bedroom tax appeals given green light

22/07/2015 | By Heather Spurr

A domestic violence victim and the grandparents of a disabled child have been granted permission to appeal against two major bedroom tax rulings.

Natalie Elphicke

Lifetime tenancies 'only for those in long-term high need'

20/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

Lifetime tenancies should be limited to those with ‘long-term high housing’ needs, such as the ‘highly disabled’ and people in ‘extreme old age’.

Flooding

Flooding forces tenants from homes

17/07/2015 | By Kate Youde

A Scottish social landlord has helped tenants move out of their homes in Perthshire following flooding and a power cut.

Man in wheelchair

Supported housing exemption likely

17/07/2015 | By Heather Spurr

Government expected to waive rent rules for certain tenancies

HCA regulator social housing

Homelessness charity criticised in HCA judgement

15/07/2015 | By Heather Spurr

A homelessness charity has been criticised by the social housing watchdog for ‘weaknesses in internal control’ exposed by issues including fraud and gas safety breaches.

Money

Equity funder to buy £15m of property for care charity

13/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

An equity funder has announced plans to buy £15m of street properties for a care and support charity.

revealed the extent of single homeless

Tackling homelessness early could save huge costs

02/07/2015 | By Emily Twinch

Tackling homelessness early could save public services up to £18,000 for every person helped, according to research published today by homelessness charity Crisis.

Stethoscope

Housing CEO to sit on health service commission

02/07/2015 | By Carl Brown

The chief executive of a large Midlands housing association will sit on a commission on the future of the National Health Service.

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Regulation

Housing building

L & Q set up in-house construction business

18/01/2011 | By Carl Brown

London & Quadrant has set up its own in-house construction business.

regulation

Landlords seek advice on deregistration after cuts

31/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

Housing associations have sought legal advice on deregistering as social landlords, as they consider their options following the Budget’s rent cut.

regulation

Welsh Government launches inquiry into landlord

30/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

The Welsh Government has launched a statutory inquiry into a social landlord relating to a number of allegations surrounding the organisation.

Clipboard

Landlord explains decision to remain independent

29/07/2015 | By Carl Brown

The chief executive of only the third landlord that failed to meet financial viability standards has explained the organisation’s decision not to seek a merger partner.

File tab marked Regulations

HCA downgrades two associations in continuing trend

29/07/2015 | By Carl Brown

The social housing regulator has issued two more financial viability rating downgrades, as the trend for lower gradings in the sector continues.

pension pot

Landlords may move towards 'less generous' pension plans

28/07/2015 | By Pete Apps

Housing associations are likely to move more staff onto less generous retirement plans as a result of the latest increase in contributions to the sector’s pension scheme.  

East midlands councils finalise devo offer

Councils finalise 77,000-home devolution offer

27/07/2015 | By Corin Williams

Wide-reaching proposals to devolve powers over housing development and finance to a coalition of East Midlands authorities are being fine-tuned ahead of a September deadline.

PRS_BADGE

Release of criminal landlord stats leads to licensing call

24/07/2015 | By Corin Williams

A London council has urged more local authorities to introduce selective licensing for the private rented sector after the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) was forced to release a database of prosecuted landlords.

rent due

Landlord payments for one in three claimants

24/07/2015 | By Heather Spurr

Around one in three universal credit claimants living in housing association properties are having their benefit for housing costs paid directly to their landlord, results from a secret survey have shown.

Julian Ashby

Regulator sets deadline for new returns following Budget

21/07/2015 | By Carl Brown

The social housing regulator has set associations a deadline of 30 October to submit fresh information about their finances in the wake of the government’s rent reduction announcement.

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