News

All the latest breaking stories from the affordable housing sector.

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Deputy director of strategy and performance, HCA

HCA warns about swap risk after increase in cash calls

01/07/2015 10:53 am | By Carl Brown

The Homes and Communities Agency has issued another warning about managing interest rate swap risk after landlords’ ‘mark-to-market’ exposure doubled in 10 months.

Matthew Bailes 600

HCA to launch welfare cut probe

01/07/2015 0:01 am | By Carl Brown

The English social housing regulator will launch an investigation into the impact of the government’s fresh welfare spending cuts on housing associations following the 8 July Budget.

Image for use in 5 December 2014

Charity calls for priority for older people in housing

30/06/2015 5:34 pm | By News team

A charity has written to new ministers calling for greater priority to be given to housing for older people.

Calendar with circled date

Associations feel like there's 'no choice but affordable rent'

30/06/2015 5:26 pm | By Carl Brown

Housing associations feel they have ‘no option but to develop homes for ‘affordable rent’ rather than social rent, research has found.

Waqar Ahmed

London association reports record £209m surplus

30/06/2015 11:06 am | By Pete Apps

L&Q has posted a record annual surplus of more than £200m as it gears up to begin its ambitious 50,000-home development drive.

investigate

MP calls on watchdog to probe Right to Buy

30/06/2015 10:40 am | By Martin Hilditch , Carl Brown

A Labour MP has written to parliamentary spending watchdog the National Audit Office (NAO) to call for an investigation into the Right to Buy.

Gary Porter, chair LGA

LGA chair calls for Right to Buy devolution

30/06/2015 10:25 am | By Carl Brown

Councils should be able to set Right to Buy discount levels locally and keep 100% of receipts, the chair of the Local Government Association will say in a speech today.

fuel poverty

Committee urges government action on ECO

30/06/2015 0:01 am | 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.

mutual at methyr valleys

Association plans pioneering mutual model

30/06/2015 0:00 am | By Pete Apps

A Welsh housing association is working to establish itself as a pioneering mutual organisation – where tenants and staff would be given the power to hire and fire the board.

Planning - use me

TCPA: Reform planning system

29/06/2015 3:36 pm | By Carl Brown

Planning in England should be radically transformed to ‘put people back at the heart of the system’.

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Development

Calendar with circled date

Associations feel like there's 'no choice but affordable rent'

30/06/2015 | By Carl Brown

Housing associations feel they have ‘no option but to develop homes for ‘affordable rent’ rather than social rent, research has found.

Gary Porter, chair LGA

LGA chair calls for Right to Buy devolution

30/06/2015 | By Carl Brown

Councils should be able to set Right to Buy discount levels locally and keep 100% of receipts, the chair of the Local Government Association will say in a speech today.

Planning - use me

TCPA: Reform planning system

29/06/2015 | By Carl Brown

Planning in England should be radically transformed to ‘put people back at the heart of the system’.

Margaret Burgess

Scottish government launches £4m Empty Homes fund

29/06/2015 | By Pete Apps

A new fund to bring empty homes and high street spaces back into use has been launched by the Scottish government.

Building blocks

L&Q retains strong credit rating

29/06/2015 | By Pete Apps

One of England’s largest housing associations has retained its strong credit rating, despite embarking on the most ambitious development programme in the sector’s history.

house building homes building construction new homes

Public sector home registrations on the up

26/06/2015 | By Corin Williams

Continued growth in the number of new homes registered with the National House Building Council (NHBC) has revealed ‘signs of a revival’ in the public and affordable sector.

Sector develops without grant

Development surge despite low grant

26/06/2015 | By Pete Apps

The 50 biggest developing housing associations in the United Kingdom built 40,213 homes last year as the sector increasingly generates its own money to fund development rather than relying on government grant.

Busines reporter, Inside Housing

Charm offensive

25/06/2015 | By Pete Apps

‘I thought he actually came across quite well,’ said a delegate as the housing minister sank back into his sofa looking more than slightly relieved. ‘Better than Grant Shapps anyway.’

Jon Sparkes

Homelessness charity eyes move into housebuilding

25/06/2015 | By Carl Brown

A homelessness charity is looking into building homes itself after becoming frustrated about the lack of affordable homes near places of work.

city hall

Four Housing Zones announced by GLA

25/06/2015 | By Laura Shimili

Four new Housing Zones which will deliver more than 12,000 new homes, 3,500 of them affordable, have been announced by Boris Johnson.

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Repairs

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.

axe 2 559

Reduction of 31 ALMOs in five years

10/06/2015 | By Sarah Graham

Nine arm’s-length management organisations (ALMOs) have been scrapped, converted to housing associations or earmarked for closure in the last few months.

Council buildings

London council set to scrap ALMO

08/06/2015 | By Sarah Graham

A London council is set to bring its housing management service back in house to save at least £1m a year.

painting walls

Just days left to enter £500 draw

03/06/2015 | By Nick Duxbury

Inside Housing readers have just days left to enter a draw for £500 worth of Marks & Spencer or Wickes vouchers by answering a survey about their organisation’s approach to decorating homes.

court gavel 600

Landmark ruling to pave way for leaseholder charge challenges

02/06/2015 | By Corin Williams

Local authorities that charged leaseholders for improvement works funded by the Community Energy Savings Programme (CESP) could be open to legal challenges, following an upper tribunal ruling.

regulation

High Court orders landlord to pay £300k to contractor

27/05/2015 | By Corin Williams

A housing association has been ordered by a High Court judge to pay more than £300,000 to a repairs contractor following a long-term legal dispute.

Welsh housing

Welsh government protects home improvement cash

19/05/2015 | By Pete Apps

The Welsh government has announced it will maintain its annual £108m pot of cash to improve social housing in Wales.

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Tenancies

mutual at methyr valleys

Association plans pioneering mutual model

30/06/2015 | By Pete Apps

A Welsh housing association is working to establish itself as a pioneering mutual organisation – where tenants and staff would be given the power to hire and fire the board.

Margaret Burgess

Scottish government launches £4m Empty Homes fund

29/06/2015 | By Pete Apps

A new fund to bring empty homes and high street spaces back into use has been launched by the Scottish government.

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.

Busines reporter, Inside Housing

Charm offensive

25/06/2015 | By Pete Apps

‘I thought he actually came across quite well,’ said a delegate as the housing minister sank back into his sofa looking more than slightly relieved. ‘Better than Grant Shapps anyway.’

Tony Stacey

Social landlords could 'turn their backs' on benefit claimants

25/06/2015 | By Heather Spurr

Housing associations may in the future ‘turn their back’ on benefit claimants and stop housing them in the face of further welfare reform, an industry chief has said.

'A third of tenant data is inaccurate'

24/06/2015 | By Jess McCabe

More than a third of data that social landlords hold on tenants is inaccurate or missing, according to a tech supplier to the housing sector.

gentoo army

Housing association launches Armed Forces pledge

23/06/2015 | By Pete Apps

Returning members of the Armed Forces should be given priority in housing allocations, under a new ‘pledge’ launched by a housing association today.

Affinity Sutton repairs

Affinity Sutton links rents to Living Wage

23/06/2015 | By Pete Apps

One of the largest housing associations in the UK will set rents on smaller properties at a rate linked to the Living Wage in a bid to help tenants escape benefit reliance.

Ilo

'Benefit cap would leave swathes of England off-limits to families'

22/06/2015 | By Pete Apps

Parts of England could become ‘off-limits’ for larger families on welfare when the overall cap on benefits is reduced to £23,000, analysis by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) warns.

Dramatic increase in assaults on housing staff

Decrease in reported assaults on housing staff

19/06/2015 | By Jess McCabe

Assaults on housing professionals decreased by almost 3% last year, an Inside Housing investigation has discovered.

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Eco

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.

Loft insultation

Energy efficiency progress on social homes stalls

03/06/2015 | By Pete Apps

Progress in making social homes more energy efficient has stalled after radical cutbacks in the amount energy companies contribute to works, a new report has found.

electricity

Energy watchdog sanctions new pre-payment tariff

07/05/2015 | By Heather Spurr

Ofgem has given an energy supplier permission to offer a special pre-payment tariff to social housing tenants.

Man fitting solar panel on roof

Housing association strikes deal for 2,000 solar panels

07/05/2015 | By Pete Apps

A housing association has signed off plans to install 2,000 free solar panels on homes in Suffolk.

Houghton-le-Spring, Durham

Council seeks partners for £300m Passivhaus drive

28/04/2015 | By Nick Duxbury , Pete Apps

A local authority is seeking partners for a £300m framework to build hundreds of super-energy efficient homes.

Stethoscope

Edinburgh Council plans boiler prescription scheme

28/04/2015 | By Heather Spurr

Edinburgh Council is planning to ‘prescribe’ new heating systems for homes, to improve residents’ health and reduce emergency NHS admissions.

solar panels, right time for social landlords to invest in energy efficiency

Solar energy firm to install panels on more than 100k homes

27/04/2015 | By Pete Apps

A solar energy firm is closing in on deals with at least five social landlords to install panels on 100,000 social homes, raising the financing from the capital markets.

Loft insultation

£224m fuel poverty scheme for Scotland

23/04/2015 | By Heather Spurr

The Scottish government is set to launch a £224m national scheme aimed at making properties easier and cheaper to heat for fuel-poor households.

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Finance

Deputy director of strategy and performance, HCA

HCA warns about swap risk after increase in cash calls

01/07/2015 | By Carl Brown

The Homes and Communities Agency has issued another warning about managing interest rate swap risk after landlords’ ‘mark-to-market’ exposure doubled in 10 months.

Waqar Ahmed

London association reports record £209m surplus

30/06/2015 | By Pete Apps

L&Q has posted a record annual surplus of more than £200m as it gears up to begin its ambitious 50,000-home development drive.

investigate

MP calls on watchdog to probe Right to Buy

30/06/2015 | By Martin Hilditch , Carl Brown

A Labour MP has written to parliamentary spending watchdog the National Audit Office (NAO) to call for an investigation into the Right to Buy.

Gary Porter, chair LGA

LGA chair calls for Right to Buy devolution

30/06/2015 | By Carl Brown

Councils should be able to set Right to Buy discount levels locally and keep 100% of receipts, the chair of the Local Government Association will say in a speech today.

Building blocks

L&Q retains strong credit rating

29/06/2015 | By Pete Apps

One of England’s largest housing associations has retained its strong credit rating, despite embarking on the most ambitious development programme in the sector’s history.

Sector develops without grant

Development surge despite low grant

26/06/2015 | By Pete Apps

The 50 biggest developing housing associations in the United Kingdom built 40,213 homes last year as the sector increasingly generates its own money to fund development rather than relying on government grant.

Busines reporter, Inside Housing

Charm offensive

25/06/2015 | By Pete Apps

‘I thought he actually came across quite well,’ said a delegate as the housing minister sank back into his sofa looking more than slightly relieved. ‘Better than Grant Shapps anyway.’

DHP cover graphic

Councils top up DHP pots

25/06/2015 | By Heather Spurr

Two in five British councils topped up their discretionary housing payments (DHP) with their own funds last year, figures released today reveal.

brandon lewis

Lewis: 'Champion aspiration' on Right to Buy

25/06/2015 | By Heather Spurr

Brandon Lewis is to call on housing associations to ‘become the champions of aspiration’ and support the extension of the Right to Buy.

Stock pic of cranes

30,000 council homes sold since Right to Buy discounts raised

25/06/2015 | By Pete Apps

Almost 30,000 council homes have been sold in the three years since Right to Buy discounts increased, with an estimated 3,337 replacements started.

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Legal

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.

passport

Government clarifies immigration check rules for associations

22/06/2015 | By Corin Williams

Housing associations will not be liable for ensuring their tenants carry out immigration status checks on lodgers, the Home Office has said.

Court of appeal

Council's homelessness policy defeated in High Court

22/06/2015 | By Heather Spurr

A London council’s attempt to bar homeless people from bidding for housing for a year has been thwarted in the High Court.

house key lock 559

Associations 'showing greater reluctance' to house vulnerable

22/06/2015 | By Carl Brown

The government should reassess its welfare reforms and grant funding policies as housing associations are reportedly showing a greater reluctance to house poorer and more vulnerable people nominated by councils.

VAT

VAT ruling 'could cost landlords tens of millions'

15/06/2015 | By Sarah Graham

A European Court of Justice (ECJ) judgement published last week could cost the social housing sector tens of millions of pounds in extra Value Added Tax (VAT) on energy-saving materials.

Packing cases

Possession claims continue to fall

05/06/2015 | By Carl Brown

The number of possession claims issued by social landlords has fallen year-on- year, statistics published by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) show.

confidential file

Labour to press government on secret Right to Buy costs

04/06/2015 | By Pete Apps

The Labour Party is tabling a parliamentary question to request the release of a secret document detailing the economic impact of extending the Right to Buy to housing associations.

Sir Bob Kerslake

'Council homes sell-off could see £5bn flow out of London'

03/06/2015 | By Pete Apps

London could lose 5,000 council homes every year and see £5bn of sales receipts flow out of the capital under the Right to Buy, the former head of the civil service has warned.

Welsh Assembly

Welsh government slashes Right to Buy discount

03/06/2015 | By Emily Twinch

The Welsh government is to halve the Right to Buy discount in the country from this summer and has started to develop legislation to end the policy in Wales.

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Care

Image for use in 5 December 2014

Charity calls for priority for older people in housing

30/06/2015 | By News team

A charity has written to new ministers calling for greater priority to be given to housing for older people.

Sign outside hotel

Soaring numbers of families housed illegally in B&Bs

24/06/2015 | By Heather Spurr

The number of families housed in bed and breakfasts by councils illegally for more than six weeks has more than doubled in one year, new figures reveal.

For use in 26 September 2014

Associations line up bids for £175m employment cash

24/06/2015 | By Heather Spurr

Housing associations are bidding for cash under a £175m programme to help people into work.

myths image

Bust social housing myths with Inside Housing

23/06/2015 | By Heather Spurr

Delegates are invited to join Inside Housing tomorrow to bust myths about social housing tenants as part of its Housing Benefits campaign.

gentoo army

Housing association launches Armed Forces pledge

23/06/2015 | By Pete Apps

Returning members of the Armed Forces should be given priority in housing allocations, under a new ‘pledge’ launched by a housing association today.

Court of appeal

Council's homelessness policy defeated in High Court

22/06/2015 | By Heather Spurr

A London council’s attempt to bar homeless people from bidding for housing for a year has been thwarted in the High Court.

Ilo

'Benefit cap would leave swathes of England off-limits to families'

22/06/2015 | By Pete Apps

Parts of England could become ‘off-limits’ for larger families on welfare when the overall cap on benefits is reduced to £23,000, analysis by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) warns.

homeless black man

Increase in number of rough sleepers in London

18/06/2015

The number of people sleeping rough on London’s streets has jumped by 16% over the past year, according to official statistics.

Stethoscope

Elderly care housing cuts NHS costs, study shows

16/06/2015 | By Heather Spurr

An older people’s specialist housing provider has reduced the amount the NHS spends on nurses, GPs and hospital admissions by more than a third, a study has found.

Caravans

MPs clash over Gypsy and Traveller site provision

16/06/2015 | By Corin Williams

A government minister has told parliament that councils do not have to follow national guidance on provision of Gypsy and Traveller sites.

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Regulation

Deputy director of strategy and performance, HCA

HCA warns about swap risk after increase in cash calls

01/07/2015 | By Carl Brown

The Homes and Communities Agency has issued another warning about managing interest rate swap risk after landlords’ ‘mark-to-market’ exposure doubled in 10 months.

Matthew Bailes 600

HCA to launch welfare cut probe

01/07/2015 | By Carl Brown

The English social housing regulator will launch an investigation into the impact of the government’s fresh welfare spending cuts on housing associations following the 8 July Budget.

DHP cover graphic

Councils top up DHP pots

25/06/2015 | By Heather Spurr

Two in five British councils topped up their discretionary housing payments (DHP) with their own funds last year, figures released today reveal.

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.

Tony Stacey

Social landlords could 'turn their backs' on benefit claimants

25/06/2015 | By Heather Spurr

Housing associations may in the future ‘turn their back’ on benefit claimants and stop housing them in the face of further welfare reform, an industry chief has said.

Matthew Bailes 600

'Failure to implement Right to Buy could be regulatory breach'

24/06/2015 | By Pete Apps

Housing associations have been warned they will face regulatory pressure if they are not ready to implement the Right to Buy when it is introduced.

Puzzling it out graphic

Associations 'facing downgrades' over asset registers

24/06/2015 | By Pete Apps

Housing associations in England could face regulatory downgrades if the Homes and Communities Agency uncovers insufficient asset and liability registers in its new in-depth assessments.

'A third of tenant data is inaccurate'

24/06/2015 | By Jess McCabe

More than a third of data that social landlords hold on tenants is inaccurate or missing, according to a tech supplier to the housing sector.

For use in 26 September 2014

Associations line up bids for £175m employment cash

24/06/2015 | By Heather Spurr

Housing associations are bidding for cash under a £175m programme to help people into work.

tim montgomerie

Influential Tory warns on welfare cuts

23/06/2015 | By Heather Spurr

The government’s ambition to create a ‘northern powerhouse’ could be overshadowed by its plan to cut billions of pounds from welfare spending, an influential Conservative has warned

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