News

All the latest breaking stories from the affordable housing sector.

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loan mortgage lending

Scottish regulator intervenes after association breaches loan covenant

24/02/2017 5:26 pm | By Sophie Barnes

The Scottish Housing Regulator will continue its intervention at a Glasgow-based housing association after it breached a loan covenant last year.

Fire in Southwark council block, 2009

Council pleads guilty to Lakanal House fire safety failures

24/02/2017 3:46 pm | By Sophie Barnes

Southwark Council expressed its “sincere regret” today as it pleaded guilty to fire safety failures relating to a tower block fire that killed six people.

The contracts will see Wates handle maintenance for 9,449 homes in London

London housing associations strike new maintenance deals

24/02/2017 3:19 pm | By Nathaniel Barker

London housing associations Southern Housing Group and The Guinness Partnership have appointed Wates Living Space to repairs contracts worth a total of £13m.

Denise fowler

Ombudsman to take over as chief executive of association

24/02/2017 12:58 pm | By Pete Apps

The housing ombudsman has announced she is leaving the role to take over at the helm of a small, specialist housing association in London.

regulation

Deleted emails trigger housing association downgrade

24/02/2017 9:30 am | By Sophie Barnes

The regulator has downgraded a 2,120-home specialist housing association after a large batch of emails was deleted under a previous management team.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland associations upping development amid uncertainty

24/02/2017 8:38 am | By Nathaniel Barker

Issuing the Housing White Paper earlier this month, the government sent out a clear message: to help fight off the housing crisis, it wants to push associations in England to build, build, build.

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Councils phase out freephone repairs numbers

24/02/2017 8:38 am | By Pete Apps

English councils are phasing out freephone repairs numbers as they seek to trim costs out of pressurised Housing Revenue Accounts.

councils, repairs, auisterity, social housing

Councils seek to plug budget holes as rent cut bites

24/02/2017 7:30 am | By Sophie Barnes

Councils are boosting their income through service charge rises and other fee increases as pressure from the 1% rent cut on Housing Revenue Accounts ramps up.

build

L&Q picked as Brent Cross South partner

23/02/2017 3:50 pm | By Nick Johnstone

L&Q has been selected by Argent Related and Barnet Council to deliver 132 homes at the 6,700-home Brent Cross South scheme in north west London.

Parliament

MPs launch inquiry into benefit cap

23/02/2017 1:10 pm | By Sophie Barnes

MPs have launched an inquiry into the benefit cap and have re-opened an inquiry into Universal Credit amid growing concern over delays.

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Development

build

L&Q picked as Brent Cross South partner

23/02/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

L&Q has been selected by Argent Related and Barnet Council to deliver 132 homes at the 6,700-home Brent Cross South scheme in north west London.

development

Housebuilding falls in 2016

23/02/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

Completions of new build homes fell by 1% in 2016, according to the government’s official measure of new build activity.

Parliament

Government should intervene in housing market, PAC hears

23/02/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

An influential committee of MPs was told the government should intervene directly in housing to fix the “failure” of the land and house building market.

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Bristol Council forced to cut housing target

23/02/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Bristol City Council has been forced to cut its target to build 1,000 homes as it seeks to make savings in its Housing Revenue Account.

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Housing association development on the rise

22/02/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

New homes being delivered by housing associations grew in the third quarter of 2016 compared with the previous two quarters, according to the National Housing Federation (NHF).

blakeway

Blakeway among new HCA board members

21/02/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Four new members have been appointed to the board of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), including Boris Johnson’s former housing tsar.

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Galliford Try reports 23% profit boost

21/02/2017 | By Pete Apps

House builder Galliford Try has reported a 23% profit boost in its half-year results through to the end of December.

funding

Octopus joint venture disbanded with no homes built

21/02/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

A joint venture once billed as “potentially transformative” for the housing sector has been disbanded without a single home being built.

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Public land sales lag well below target

20/02/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

The government has sold enough land for less than 14,000 homes, leaving it well off the pace required to meet its target to dispose of land for 160,000 homes in this parliament.

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NHF warns of 'significant risks' in deal-based rents approach

20/02/2017 | By Pete Apps

The National Housing Federation (NHF) has warned of “significant risks” to a deal-based approach for future rent settlements.

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Repairs

The contracts will see Wates handle maintenance for 9,449 homes in London

London housing associations strike new maintenance deals

24/02/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

London housing associations Southern Housing Group and The Guinness Partnership have appointed Wates Living Space to repairs contracts worth a total of £13m.

PHONE 394px

Councils phase out freephone repairs numbers

24/02/2017 | By Pete Apps

English councils are phasing out freephone repairs numbers as they seek to trim costs out of pressurised Housing Revenue Accounts.

Birmingham

Birmingham City Council approves £183m housing spend

14/02/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

Birmingham City Council has approved investing £183m into its housing services over the next four years.

repairs

Regulator knew of repairs issues before Circle upgrade

10/02/2017 | By Pete Apps

The housing regulator knew about serious problems with Circle’s repairs service affecting vulnerable tenants when it upgraded the organisation to compliant last year.

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Mears wins £86m Manchester repairs contract

25/01/2017 | By Tim Clark

Mears has been picked by Northwards Housing for a 10-year repairs and maintenance contract worth £86m.

accounts results statements financial

Lakehouse slumps to £31.7m loss

24/01/2017 | By Tim Clark

Social housing contractor Lakehouse has posted a £31.7m operating loss for the year to September last year according to the firm’s annual results.

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Associations slash spend on major repairs as rent cut bites

20/01/2017 | By Martin Hilditch

Housing associations in England slashed spend on major repairs work to their estates as the government enforced its policy of cutting social rents.

repairs

Ombudsman relationship with regulator in spotlight after Circle issues

16/01/2017 | By Pete Apps

Gavin Barwell has committed to reviewing the relationship between the housing regulator and the ombudsman, in the aftermath of a flurry of problems at a new build development.

repairs

Leaked letter reveals Circle repairs overhaul could run until September

12/01/2017 | By Pete Apps

Overhauling the long-standing repairs issues affecting former Circle Housing stock could take until September, a leaked letter has revealed.

repairs

Sovereign brings maintenance of 2,000 homes in-house

06/01/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

Sovereign is to double the number of homes in Devon that it maintains through its property management subsidiary, meaning its entire 55,000 portfolio will now be under its own management.

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Tenancies

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Government reviewing associations' powers to evict problem tenants

23/02/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

The government has revealed it is undertaking a review of associations’ powers to evict anti-social tenants, as MPs heard calls for greater powers to protect neighbours yesterday.

Tenant Desposit Scheme, generation rent, lettings

Time running out to win £500 vouchers in our lettings survey

23/02/2017

Inside Housing readers who complete a survey about their organisation’s approach to letting properties have the chance to win £500 in Marks & Spencer vouchers.

camera

MPs to debate associations' duties to private neighbours

22/02/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

Ministers will be asked to require housing associations to offer compensation to neighbours affected by their tenants at a House of Commons debate later today.

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NHF warns of 'significant risks' in deal-based rents approach

20/02/2017 | By Pete Apps

The National Housing Federation (NHF) has warned of “significant risks” to a deal-based approach for future rent settlements.

rent standard cover 559

Government considers development commitments in return for rent increases

17/02/2017 | By Pete Apps

The government is considering deals with housing associations to link rent increases to commitments to increase housebuilding in its post-2020 rent settlement.

wigan

Wigan Council set to scrap ALMO

15/02/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

Wigan Council is expected to take back control of housing stock from its arm’s-length management organisation (ALMO), after a report concluded the move would save £5.5m.

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Birmingham changes expected to remove 4,000 from housing waiting list

14/02/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

Birmingham City Council is set to remove an estimated 4,000 households from its housing waiting list by changing its allocation policy.

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Barwell: no tenancy length increases for buy-to-let landlords

08/02/2017 | By Pete Apps

WHITE PAPER: The government has no plans to force or encourage buy-to-let landlords to increase the length of their tenancies, the housing minister has confirmed.

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Barwell: longer PRS tenancies in White Paper

06/02/2017 | By Pete Apps

The government will look to increase the availability of longer rental tenancies as it seeks to boost institutional investment in Build to Rent in tomorrow’s Housing White Paper.

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Areas with rising waiting lists see falls in social housing

24/01/2017 | By Luke Barratt

Councils with the fastest rising housing waiting lists are areas which saw above average decreases in the amount of social housing coming available, exclusive Inside Housing analysis shows.

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Eco

Thermographic image of property

Enfield to invest £58m in heat network

30/01/2017 | By Tim Clark

Enfield Council is to invest £58m to develop a community energy network which will supply low carbon heat and hot water to 15,000 homes.

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

Government review calls for housing associations to lead on energy efficiency

19/12/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

Housing associations are hindered from making energy efficiency improvements to their homes because of financial pressures and “competing regulatory priorities”, a government-commissioned review has concluded.

Man fitting solar panel on roof

London boroughs pilot solar batteries

14/12/2016 | By Clare Mullooly

Three London boroughs are testing solar battery installations on social homes, in a bid to find a workable model for solar power after swingeing government cuts last year.

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”.

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Finance

London

London home mover activity drops to 25-year low

22/02/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

The number of home buyers in London fell to a four-year low in 2016, with home mover activity dropping to its lowest level in 25 years.

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Barratt boosts profits despite dip in homes built

22/02/2017 | By Pete Apps

The UK’s largest house builder has announced boosted profits in the six months to the end of December, despite a dip in the number of homes it built.

Aberdeen council

Aberdeen association secures £12.5m loan

21/02/2017 | By Pete Apps

An Aberdeen housing association has secured a £12.5m loan to build 147 homes in the city and the surrounding area.

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Galliford Try reports 23% profit boost

21/02/2017 | By Pete Apps

House builder Galliford Try has reported a 23% profit boost in its half-year results through to the end of December.

funding

Octopus joint venture disbanded with no homes built

21/02/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

A joint venture once billed as “potentially transformative” for the housing sector has been disbanded without a single home being built.

rent standard cover 559

NHF warns of 'significant risks' in deal-based rents approach

20/02/2017 | By Pete Apps

The National Housing Federation (NHF) has warned of “significant risks” to a deal-based approach for future rent settlements.

George Osborne holds up his briefcase for the media

NHF calls for rent freedom in Budget

17/02/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The National Housing Federation (NHF) is calling for rent freedom and for housing to play a part in the government’s industrial strategy, ahead of next month’s Budget.

housing market

L&Q market sale and rent activity ramps up

17/02/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

L&Q ramped up its delivery of market sale and rent units during the nine months to 31 December 2016, as its social housing activity dropped.

housing finance

Global Accounts: short-term debt due doubles in year

17/02/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

Housing associations had more than £1.9bn of short-term debt coming up for renewal in the 12 months to April 2016 – double the amount experienced in the previous year.

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Global Accounts: associations' sales activity soars 39%

17/02/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

Just 10 housing associations were responsible for three-quarters of the sale activity carried out by UK landlords in 2015/16, while the total proceeds from such sales grew by 39%.

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Legal

Fire in Southwark council block, 2009

Council pleads guilty to Lakanal House fire safety failures

24/02/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Southwark Council expressed its “sincere regret” today as it pleaded guilty to fire safety failures relating to a tower block fire that killed six people.

GAVIN BARWELL 394px

House builders launch neighbourhood planning judicial review

26/01/2017 | By Simon Brandon

A group of 25 house builders and land promoters have launched a judicial review against a rule change allowing councils with Neighbourhood Plans to block development.

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Council prosecuted by fire service over Lakanal House blaze

04/01/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Southwark Council is facing prosecution for breaching fire safety regulations following the deaths of six people in the Lakanal House fire.

freedom of information

Scottish Government proposes FOI for social landlords

01/12/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

The Scottish Government has launched a consultation into making housing associations in Scotland subject to Freedom of Information requests.

fraud

Government fraud team 'disappointed' by drop in recoveries

07/11/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

Only 54 social housing properties were recovered this year as part of efforts to stamp out tenancy fraud, a report from the Cabinet Office’s National Fraud Initiative (NFI) has revealed.

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Barratt director arrested over contracts probe

19/10/2016 | By Heather Spurr

A senior director at a major house builder has been arrested on suspicion of bribery, following an investigation into the awarding of contracts.

gavel law legal challenge

Solicitors warn of housing legal aid 'deserts'

29/07/2016 | By Carl Brown

Funding cuts have led to legal aid ‘deserts’ with people struggling to access representation or advice on housing issues, solicitors have warned.

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.

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Care

ambulance

Ministers seek alarm improvements after tenant death

22/02/2017 | By Pete Apps

Ministers have promised to take steps to improve alarm services in social housing, after a man died waiting for an ambulance after contacting a housing association’s emergency call line.

Welsh Assembly

Report calls for Welsh pensioner homes budget

17/02/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

Wales needs a special budget to encourage building homes for older people to help cope with the country’s ageing population, a report claims.

crisis fund hardship DHP discretionary housing payment

LHA cap: £64m funding gap risks breaking service, providers warn

13/02/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The Local Housing Allowance cap for supported housing risks “breaking” sheltered housing, three major specialist housing providers have warned.

scotland

Scottish Government to reduce time children spend in temporary housing

09/02/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Children and pregnant women will spend no longer than one week in bed and breakfast (B&B) accommodation, the Scottish Government has pledged.

Old woman at window

Glasgow calls for rent rises as it cuts sheltered housing budget by third

31/01/2017 | By Tim Clark

Glasgow City Council has asked the city’s associations to implement rent rises to help cover the cost of a forthcoming £1m cut to sheltered housing services.

For us in Inside Housing

Landlord-led domestic abuse initiative gets £30,000 of government funding

31/01/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

A landlord-led initiative to tackle domestic abuse in the social housing sector has been awarded £30,000 of funding from the government.

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Wheatley to help veterans with bankers' fines

16/01/2017 | By Pete Apps

The largest housing association in Scotland has received almost half a million pounds raised in fines from bankers to help house homeless veterans.

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MPs launch inquiry into supported housing funding

15/12/2016 | By Pete Apps

MPs have launched a joint inquiry into the government’s proposal to radically overhaul the funding of supported housing.

Homeless

Government will intervene if councils fail on homelessness prevention

12/12/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

The government will intervene with councils which are not meeting their homelessness prevention duties if a new law is passed, the minister responsible for homelessness has revealed.

ICE CAROUSEL 559px

LHA cap: supported schemes remain on ice

08/12/2016 | By Simon Brandon

Supported housing providers are keeping development schemes on hold, despite a recent assurance from the government that current levels of funding will be maintained in the future.

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Regulation

loan mortgage lending

Scottish regulator intervenes after association breaches loan covenant

24/02/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The Scottish Housing Regulator will continue its intervention at a Glasgow-based housing association after it breached a loan covenant last year.

regulation

Deleted emails trigger housing association downgrade

24/02/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The regulator has downgraded a 2,120-home specialist housing association after a large batch of emails was deleted under a previous management team.

housing finance

Global Accounts: short-term debt due doubles in year

17/02/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

Housing associations had more than £1.9bn of short-term debt coming up for renewal in the 12 months to April 2016 – double the amount experienced in the previous year.

Regulator efficiency 394

More than 240 associations sign up to Sector Scorecard pilot

16/02/2017 | By Pete Apps

Housing associations covering more than half of all housing association stock have signed up to a pilot of pioneering efficiency metrics being developed by the sector.

New regulator

Housing association slammed by regulator after £2.3m site failures

13/02/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

A Scottish housing association has been slammed by the regulator for “failing to progress” a site bought in 2010 with £1m of public money.

repairs

Regulator knew of repairs issues before Circle upgrade

10/02/2017 | By Pete Apps

The housing regulator knew about serious problems with Circle’s repairs service affecting vulnerable tenants when it upgraded the organisation to compliant last year.

JULIAN ASHBY 394px

Ashby warns associations over rent settlement and building

09/02/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The chair of the regulator has warned housing associations the government could impose an “unpleasant” rent settlement if it is not persuaded they are building enough homes.

Regulator

Regulator: associations must properly consult tenants before selling properties

08/02/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The social housing regulator is calling on housing associations to properly consult tenants before disposing of properties or making a change in management, after warning some have not been “upfront” about potential risks.

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The Housing White Paper: full coverage

06/02/2017

WHITE PAPER: Read all of Inside Housing’s articles on the Housing White Paper

New regulator

7,000-home housing association under review by regulator

03/02/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The social housing regulator has put Luminus Group under review while it investigates a governance matter.

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