News

All the latest breaking stories from the affordable housing sector.

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Revealed: less than half of Right to Buy replacements are for social rent

26/05/2017 0:01 am | By Sophie Barnes

Less than half of the council homes built to replace those sold under the Right to Buy are at social rents, an exclusive Inside Housing investigation has revealed.

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New Metropolitan chief: 'innovation' needed for supported housing funding

30/05/2017 7:30 am | By Sophie Barnes

The incoming chief executive of Metropolitan will look at “innovative” ways to fund supported housing in response to uncertainty over government funding.

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Hightown agrees £45m financing deal

26/05/2017 3:20 pm | By Sophie Barnes

Hightown Housing Association has secured a loan of £45m from M&G Investments with plans to develop 1,200 homes in the next two years.

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Community leaders accuse HAs of being 'increasingly commercial'

26/05/2017 12:01 pm | By Tom Wall

Community leaders and trade union activists have signed an open letter accusing housing associations of becoming “increasingly commercial”.

DWP pilot to reduce sanctions for homeless people

SFHA: UK government should overhaul welfare changes

26/05/2017 10:12 am | By Sophie Barnes

The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has called on the UK government to overhaul its welfare changes ahead of the general election.

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Midlands associations agree merger

26/05/2017 0:01 am | By Nathaniel Barker

Midlands housing associations Longhurst Group and Axiom have agreed a merger that will see them deliver 100 extra new homes a year.

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UKIP promises to review 'unaccountable' housing associations

25/05/2017 4:51 pm | By Pete Apps

UKIP has promised to “launch a review” of the operation of housing associations after including an attack on the sector in its election manifesto.

Athletes' accommodation in the Olympic village

Major PRS operator to scrap security deposits

25/05/2017 4:51 pm | By Nick Johnstone

Private rented sector landlord Get Living London is to scrap security deposits at its schemes, and will refund £3m of down payments to thousands of existing tenants.

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DCLG data reveals surge in housebuilding

25/05/2017 12:35 pm | By Nick Johnstone

Housebuilding in England rose significantly in the last quarter, with new starts and completions up 21% compared with the same period a year earlier, according to the latest government figures.

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Private rented sector REIT raises £250m in 'oversubscribed' fundraising

25/05/2017 10:25 am | By Nick Johnstone

The UK’s first real estate investment trust (REIT) dedicated to the private rented sector (PRS) has raised £250m in an “oversubscribed” fundraising.

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Development

48 cover

Revealed: less than half of Right to Buy replacements are for social rent

26/05/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Less than half of the council homes built to replace those sold under the Right to Buy are at social rents, an exclusive Inside Housing investigation has revealed.

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Community leaders accuse HAs of being 'increasingly commercial'

26/05/2017 | By Tom Wall

Community leaders and trade union activists have signed an open letter accusing housing associations of becoming “increasingly commercial”.

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DCLG data reveals surge in housebuilding

25/05/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

Housebuilding in England rose significantly in the last quarter, with new starts and completions up 21% compared with the same period a year earlier, according to the latest government figures.

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Rents fall in areas of oversupply in prime central London

23/05/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

Rents have begun falling in specific parts of central London’s prime market, as oversupply dents rental growth in areas.

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Housing association development starts rise 13%

23/05/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

The number of new homes started by housing associations rose 13% to almost 48,000 in the last financial year, comprehensive figures on the sector’s output reveal.

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G15 and City Hall reveal affordable homes boost

19/05/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

London’s largest housing associations have unveiled plans to accelerate their building by 50% to 60,000 new homes over the next four years, with 42,000 of them affordable.

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Countryside grows revenue and profit

18/05/2017 | By Greg Pitcher

Countryside Properties ramped up its affordable housing completion rate last winter, and grew both revenue and profit.

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One Housing Group details 'groundbreaking' shared ownership deal

18/05/2017 | By Greg Pitcher

A housing association says it would “quite possibly” seek more finance from its shared ownership stock after signing a deal with an institutional investor earlier this year.

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Survey reveals rising public concern over lack of housing

18/05/2017 | By Greg Pitcher

An increasing number of British people see housing as a problem, with a rising number of non-homeowners giving up on ever buying a home, new research has revealed.

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Tory social housing 'deals' plan builds on existing work with three councils

18/05/2017 | By News team

Ongoing behind-the-scenes work with three councils will form the basis of flagship Conservative plans for ‘bespoke deals’ to build social rented housing, it is understood.

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Repairs

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Trellick Tower in line for £7.2m restoration programme

17/05/2017 | By Greg Pitcher

The iconic brutalist tower block Trellick Tower is to undergo a £7.2m restoration programme.

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Sovereign brings all repairs in-house

07/04/2017 | By Luke Barratt

One of the UK’s largest housing associations will maintain all of its 56,000 homes through its own property management subsidiary.

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NI housing unfitness levels at record low

07/04/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

Unfitness in Northern Ireland’s housing stock is at its lowest ever recorded level, according to data from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE).

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Wheatley Group in £3.7bn repairs joint venture with council

05/04/2017 | By Luke Barratt

Scotland’s largest social landlord has partnered with Glasgow City Council in a £3.7bn joint venture to provide repairs and maintenance.

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Mitie secures five-year repairs deal

27/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

A contractor has secured a £21m contract to provide repairs services to a housing association for five years.

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Association selects 16 contractors for £90m repairs framework

16/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

A housing association has selected 16 contractors to deliver a £90m repairs framework in London.

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Public housing construction slows, ONS figures reveal

10/03/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The output of public housing construction and repairs and maintenance have slowed, the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed.

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Regulator and ombudsman open talks over joint working

09/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

The housing regulator and the ombudsman have opened talks about their joint working following political pressure over housing association complaints.

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Bromford to pilot tenant DIY repairs scheme

03/03/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

Midlands housing association Bromford is set to pilot a scheme requiring tenants to carry out their own home repairs.

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Keepmoat sells regeneration business for £330m

02/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

Keepmoat has sold the regeneration arm of its business to a French energy services company in a deal valued at £330m.

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Tenancies

Athletes' accommodation in the Olympic village

Major PRS operator to scrap security deposits

25/05/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

Private rented sector landlord Get Living London is to scrap security deposits at its schemes, and will refund £3m of down payments to thousands of existing tenants.

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Share your views on emergency accommodation to win £500

12/05/2017

Inside Housing readers who complete a survey about their organisation’s approach to emergency alternative accommodation have the chance to win £500 of Amazon vouchers.

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LHA cap 'would lock 84% of young renters out of market in South East'

11/05/2017 | By Mark Smulian

The government’s plans to cap housing benefit at Local Housing Allowance (LHA) levels would lock 84% of young people in low-paid, insecure jobs out of all housing options in the South East.

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Social sector evictions on the increase in Scotland, Shelter reveals

24/04/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

There has been a 24% increase in evictions from social housing in Scotland over the past two years, a new report by Shelter Scotland has revealed.

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Welsh associations warn hundreds will be unable to pay rent under LHA cap

21/04/2017 | By Jules Birch , Pete Apps

Welsh social landlords in low-rent areas have revealed capping benefits at Local Housing Allowance (LHA) will leave hundreds of their tenants unable to pay their rent.

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Councils receive new powers to fine 'rogue' landlords

06/04/2017 | By Luke Barratt

Councils will receive new powers to deal with rogue landlords from today, the government has announced.

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Government will not reconsider LHA rate freeze

03/04/2017 | By Luke Barratt

The government has refused to reconsider its decision to freeze the Local Housing Allowance (LHA), the rate which sets how much housing benefit can be claimed by private tenants.

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One Housing to raise rents on key worker scheme by 40%

30/03/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

A London housing association is set to start lifting rents by up to 40% at a key worker scheme in east London from next week, amid local opposition.

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Dementia code for housing launched by charity

27/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

A major dementia charity is calling for social landlords to sign up to a dementia charter to make housing friendly to sufferers of the condition.

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Scottish Government to cover the loss of housing benefit for 18 to 21-year-olds

27/03/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The Scottish Government will extend its welfare fund to include all 18 to 21-year-olds hit by the removal of housing benefit, set to be introduced from April.

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Eco

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Deal

Hightown agrees £45m financing deal

26/05/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Hightown Housing Association has secured a loan of £45m from M&G Investments with plans to develop 1,200 homes in the next two years.

potential merger

Midlands associations agree merger

26/05/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

Midlands housing associations Longhurst Group and Axiom have agreed a merger that will see them deliver 100 extra new homes a year.

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Private rented sector REIT raises £250m in 'oversubscribed' fundraising

25/05/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

The UK’s first real estate investment trust (REIT) dedicated to the private rented sector (PRS) has raised £250m in an “oversubscribed” fundraising.

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Welsh housing association plans £250m bond

23/05/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

Wales’ third-largest housing association is to issue a £250m bond to refinance its current loan portfolio and pump more money into development.

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Wandle bags £70m debt from RBS and Lloyds

23/05/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

Wandle has secured £70m of loan finance from Lloyds and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to help fund its plans to build 1,000 homes by 2021.

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Amicus Horizon and Viridian merge to form Optivo

22/05/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

Amicus Horizon and Viridian have today launched their merged 44,000-home housing association and named it Optivo.

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Association secures debt package from pension fund and Japanese bank

22/05/2017 | By Nick Johnstone , Greg Pitcher

Network Homes has secured a £50m loan facility from a Japanese bank working with a UK pension fund.

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Associations call for rent freedom after Tories pledge 'flexibility'

19/05/2017 | By Greg Pitcher

Housing association bosses have urged the next government to let them set their own rents, after the Conservative manifesto pledged more flexibility for the sector.

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Countryside grows revenue and profit

18/05/2017 | By Greg Pitcher

Countryside Properties ramped up its affordable housing completion rate last winter, and grew both revenue and profit.

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One Housing Group details 'groundbreaking' shared ownership deal

18/05/2017 | By Greg Pitcher

A housing association says it would “quite possibly” seek more finance from its shared ownership stock after signing a deal with an institutional investor earlier this year.

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Legal

Homelessness

Councils defend record after Tory manifesto criticism

24/05/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

Councils have defended their housebuilding record, after the Conservative Party manifesto branded them among the “worst offenders” in “failing to build sustainable and integrated communities”.

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Community housing groups call for clarity over Right to Buy

23/05/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

Community housing groups have launched a campaign to gain assurance from politicians that community-led schemes will not be subject to the Right to Buy for housing associations.

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Conservative manifesto: sector bodies react

18/05/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

Housing bodies and organisations have broadly welcomed the Conservative Party’s manifesto pledges on housebuilding and reducing homelessness, but called for more details on key policies.

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Council officer pleads guilty to social housing fraud

17/05/2017 | By Greg Pitcher

A former council housing officer has pleaded guilty to lying on his application for a social house.

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Landmark Supreme Court judgement hands discretion to planners

15/05/2017 | By Mark Smulian

A landmark Supreme Court judgement last week on the meaning of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) will hand planners wide discretion over which policies they follow in places with out of date Local Plans, legal experts claim.

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Court finds housing association not liable in water bill claim

25/04/2017 | By Pete Apps

The High Court has ruled that a housing association is not liable to compensate tenants for water bills, in the latest case in a saga over alleged overpayments.

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Ex-finance director pleads guilty to voyeurism and sexual assault

17/03/2017

The ex-finance director of the largest housing association in Scotland has pleaded guilty to voyeurism and sexual assault.

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Councils meet with DCLG over bespoke deals

07/03/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

Three councils met with Department for Communities and Local Government officials to discuss bespoke deals over rent and borrowing last Thursday.

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Council fined £570,000 for Lakanal House fire failures

28/02/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Southwark Council has been fined £570,000 for fire safety failures after a tower block fire killed six people, including three children. 

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.

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Care

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Migrant support pledge for housing associations launched

25/05/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

Housing associations are being urged to sign up to a three-point pledge to provide support for migrants.

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Welsh housing minister pledges to tackle rough sleeping

24/05/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

The Welsh Government minister with responsibility for housing has said ending rough sleeping is a priority for him.

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£4.5m investment fund for homelessness sector set to launch

23/05/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

A charity is set to launch a £4.5m Social Investment Fund for organisations working to reduce homelessness.

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Tories vow to eliminate rough sleeping and pilot Housing First

18/05/2017

The Conservatives have pledged to pilot Housing First and eliminate rough sleeping by 2027, in a major win for Inside Housing’s Cathy at 50 campaign.

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Sector bosses warn against social housing smoking ban

09/05/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

Housing association bosses have warned against a leading public health figure’s call to impose non-smoking conditions on social housing tenants.

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Sector tells government it is time to listen on LHA cap

05/05/2017 | By News team

The government has been urged to listen to the recommendation of two cross-party committees and ditch controversial plans to cap benefit for supported housing tenants at Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates.

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MPs urge government to drop LHA cap plan for supported housing

01/05/2017 | By Kate Youde

MPs are calling on the government to abandon plans to base supported housing funding on Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates.

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Academics to seek homelessness best practice in new study

25/04/2017 | By Pete Apps

A new research project backed by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) will assess how councils and housing associations can work together to tackle homelessness.

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Local Plans should be overhauled if they fail on accessible housing, MPs say

25/04/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Local Plans should be changed as a “matter of urgency” if there are gaps in providing accessible housing, a cross-party committee of MPs has recommended.

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Council pilots modular technology to adapt vulnerable tenants' homes

21/04/2017 | By Martin Hilditch

A Scottish council is working on a pilot project to build modular extensions to the homes of older or disabled people to help them remain in their properties.

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Regulation

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Regulator proposes using Sector Scorecard to assess value for money

11/05/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The social housing regulator will launch a consultation on its Value for Money Standard, which will propose using the newly developed Sector Scorecard to police efficiency.

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Welsh PAC reverses plan for second inquiry

10/05/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

The Welsh Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is now unlikely to carry out a second inquiry into regulation, according to a committee member.

Regulator

Scottish regulator outlines close monitoring of 56 associations

09/05/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The Scottish Housing Regulator has increased the number of housing associations it is closely monitoring because the sector faces “more risk”.

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Welsh Government launches reclassification proposals

08/05/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

The Welsh Government has proposed scrapping its powers to control home sales and limiting local authority influence, as it bids to return housing associations to the private sector.

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Risk planning 'unacceptably weak' in some areas, warns regulator

28/04/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The regulator has warned of “unacceptably weak” risk planning as it signals a tougher approach to compliance going forward.

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Welsh Government official calls for more transparency from associations

26/04/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

The Welsh Government’s leading official on housing associations has called for greater transparency within the sector following the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) inquiry into regulation.

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Welsh Government plans to put forward reclassification proposals next month

24/04/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

The Welsh Government will put forward proposals to reverse the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) reclassification of housing associations in Wales after local elections on 4 May.

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Regulator to publish lessons learned review as deregulation kicks in

07/04/2017 | By Luke Barratt

The housing regulator plans to publish a review of the lessons it has learned from the consents regime next month.

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L&G: confidence in associations has dropped

07/04/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

Legal & General’s confidence in housing association lending has dropped on the back of deregulation and rent cuts, according to the pension fund manager’s head of real assets.

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Charity Commission issues reminder over stock disposals

06/04/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

Housing associations have been reminded they may need to seek consent from the Charity Commission before selling assets if they are registered charities.

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