News

All the latest breaking stories from the affordable housing sector.

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MERGER CODE CONCERN CAROUSEL 559px

Revealed: scale of merger code concern

12/02/2016 7:00 am | By Heather Spurr

A significant number of chief executives say their housing associations are unlikely to sign up to a new sector-wide ‘merger code’.

Stock pic of eviction order

10,000 fewer possession claims

12/02/2016 2:23 pm | By Carl Brown

Social landlords issued 10,000 fewer claims for possession in 2015 than the previous year, according to government statistics published this week.

HCA regulator social housing

Scottish regulator takes action against association

12/02/2016 12:19 pm | By Sophie Barnes

The Scottish Housing Regulator has taken action against a housing association in Paisley after finding “serious weaknesses” in the landlord’s governance and management of finances.

diversity

BME executives under-represented

12/02/2016 7:00 am | By Jess McCabe

Only 19 out of more than 500 executives in the UK’s largest housing associations are black or minority ethnic (BME).

LONDON_CITY_HALL

City Hall rejects 10% rule for smaller developers

11/02/2016 4:46 pm | By Carl Brown

A City Hall director has rejected a call from a Conservative assembly member to ensure 10% of surplus land released by the Greater London Authority goes to smaller developers.

for rent sign

Grainger reports 'strong performance'

11/02/2016 4:06 pm | By Carl Brown

Britain’s largest listed private landlord has announced higher rental increases, citing high demand amid a “strong trading performance”.

rent cut

Councils plan for PFI rent cut exemption

11/02/2016 2:04 pm | By Pete Apps

The government is considering granting housing built through private finance initiatives an exemption from the rent cut, according to council business plans.

Former BBC trust chair

Lyons experts criticise homeownership focus

11/02/2016 10:39 am | By Pete Apps

The government is too focused on homeownership and needs to do more to help those who cannot buy, a commission of experts has warned.

Birmingham

Birmingham Council to spend £60m on improving stock

11/02/2016 10:31 am | By Pete Apps

Birmingham Council plans to carry out a £60m programme of improvement works to its homes, despite the financial pressure exerted by the rent cut.

Clipboard

Association downgraded over VFM

11/02/2016 9:00 am | By Heather Spurr

The English social housing regulator has downgraded a housing association’s governance rating because of concerns over how it considers strategy and measures value for money.

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Development

LONDON_CITY_HALL

City Hall rejects 10% rule for smaller developers

11/02/2016 | By Carl Brown

A City Hall director has rejected a call from a Conservative assembly member to ensure 10% of surplus land released by the Greater London Authority goes to smaller developers.

Former BBC trust chair

Lyons experts criticise homeownership focus

11/02/2016 | By Pete Apps

The government is too focused on homeownership and needs to do more to help those who cannot buy, a commission of experts has warned.

Birmingham

Birmingham Council to spend £60m on improving stock

11/02/2016 | By Pete Apps

Birmingham Council plans to carry out a £60m programme of improvement works to its homes, despite the financial pressure exerted by the rent cut.

signing contract deal

Hyde opens procurement to other landlords

10/02/2016 | By Pete Apps

Hyde Group has allowed another social landlord to access its procurement framework.

Stock pic of cranes

Redrow announces increased completions

09/02/2016 | By Carl Brown

Redrow has announced an 18% increase in completions in the first half of 2015/16, citing the government’s Help to Buy scheme as a factor in helping demand.

east thames development beckton

Offsite payments increase 72%

09/02/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

The value of payments made to councils by developers in lieu of onsite affordable housing has jumped 72% in a year, according to official figures.

STARTER HOMES 394px

Savills issues Starter Homes warning

08/02/2016 | By Heather Spurr

The government’s Starter Homes could fail to deliver extra homes and may distort the market by overlapping with other schemes, according to new analysis.

Stock pic of crane and building

Greens: 7,000 social homes could be lost

04/02/2016 | By Pete Apps

Planned estate regeneration schemes could see more than 7,000 socially rented homes lost from London, a political party has warned.

restructure

Sanctuary divides commercial and social arms

04/02/2016 | By Pete Apps

England’s largest housing association has announced plans to restructure its business, providing a clearer separation between its social and commercial arms.

Housing minister

Labour homeownership review launched

04/02/2016 | By Carl Brown

John Healey will officially launch the Labour-commissioned Redfern Review into homeownership today.

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Repairs

Birmingham

Birmingham Council to spend £60m on improving stock

11/02/2016 | By Pete Apps

Birmingham Council plans to carry out a £60m programme of improvement works to its homes, despite the financial pressure exerted by the rent cut.

Stock market

Rent cut drives contractor profit warning

02/02/2016 | By Pete Apps

Social housing contractor Lakehouse has issued a profit warning linked to reduced spending following the 1% rent cut.

Affinity Sutton repairs

Landlords increase planned maintenance spend by 17%

21/01/2016 | By Martin Hilditch

London’s biggest housing associations ramped up spending on planned maintenance by 17% in 2014/15.

Spanners

Law firm warns of repairs prosecution rise

18/01/2016 | By Carl Brown

A law firm has warned that social landlords are increasingly facing prosecution from tenants over repairs due to legal aid cuts.

Aerial view of London

Savills: Regen model could create 360k homes

11/01/2016 | By Carl Brown

Up to 360,000 extra homes could be created in London by redeveloping council estates to a higher density along street patterns, according to a government-commissioned report today.

For use in Inside Housing, 8 January 2016

Hundreds still homeless following flooding

06/01/2016 | By Lucy Alderson

Hundreds of social housing tenants are still living in temporary accommodation due to the floods which swept through parts of the UK over the Christmas period.

Spanners

Mulalley wins £210m repairs contract

04/01/2016 | By Pete Apps

A south London council has signed a £210m contract for 14 years of planned maintenance work.

Northern Ireland Housing Executive

Sector hopeful of billions for NIHE stock

24/12/2015 | By Corin Williams

Housing associations are hopeful billions of pounds of private investment will be pumped into Northern Ireland Housing Executive homes to bring them up to standard as a result of the Stormont Agreement.

Spanners

Lakehouse boosts profit

10/12/2015 | By Pete Apps

A contractor is eyeing a move into reactive repairs, after posting a 114% rise in underlying profit in its annual results.

Flooding in Appleby, Cumbria

Landlords focus on safety of flood-hit tenants

09/12/2015 | By Johnny Crisp

Housing associations in Cumbria and Lancaster are working to ensure the safety of their tenants after severe flooding left more than 50,000 homes without power.

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Tenancies

Stock pic of eviction order

10,000 fewer possession claims

12/02/2016 | By Carl Brown

Social landlords issued 10,000 fewer claims for possession in 2015 than the previous year, according to government statistics published this week.

DHP cover graphic

DHP allocations announced

05/02/2016 | By Carl Brown

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced individual local authority Discretionary Housing Payment allocations for 2016/17.

Gas safety

HSE considers gas check flexibility for landlords

05/02/2016 | By Carl Brown

The Health & Safety Executive is considering allowing housing associations more flexibility around the timing of gas safety checks following concern in the sector about current rules.

High Court

Judge orders council to review allocations scheme

05/02/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

A council has been ordered to review its housing allocations policy after a judicial review claimant argued it was discriminatory against Gypsies and Travellers.

london tower blocks

Tower blocks viability concern due to 'LHA cap'

04/02/2016 | By Heather Spurr

The planned ‘Local Housing Allowance cap’ will make tower block accommodation difficult to let by pricing out younger benefit claimants, landlords have warned.

Stock pic

Fears over 'LHA cap' impact on under-35s

03/02/2016 | By Carl Brown

Eight in 10 housing benefit awards for single social tenants under the age of 35 are over the proposed ‘Local Housing Allowance cap’, according to research by Shelter.

HCA regulator social housing

Scottish association remains under supervision

02/02/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

A Scottish housing association that was criticised by the regulator for its governance and financial controls will continue to be overseen by an external manager, following a review.

RTB CAROUSEL 559px

RTB pilots: 5.7% of tenants register interest

29/01/2016 | By Pete Apps

An average of 5.7% of housing association tenants contacted about the extended Right to Buy pilots have registered an interest in buying their homes.

Shutterstock

Increase in complaints about allocations

27/01/2016 | By Carl Brown

Complaints and enquiries about councils’ housing allocations policies have increased 13% in a year, prompting concern from a local government watchdog.

House keys

Right to Buy pilots open for applications

25/01/2016 | By Pete Apps

Housing association tenants will be able to apply formally to buy their homes under five Right to Buy pilot schemes from today.

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Eco

Pic of solar panel, builders gloves and hammer

Labour will not back bid to block solar cuts

02/02/2016

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

Pic of solar panel, builders gloves and hammer

Solar installations paused after 5,000th home

20/01/2016 | By Pete Apps

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

Man fitting solar panel on roof

Associations race to install solar panels

12/01/2016 | By Pete Apps

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

12 days of xmas day  SUSTAINABILITY

Sustainability - 2015 highlights

05/01/2016 | By IH reporters

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

DECC is seeking to change RHI application process

Councils to pioneer solar batteries

22/12/2015 | By Pete Apps

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

For use in Inside Housing, 18 September 2015

Boris presses ahead with zero carbon standard

23/11/2015 | By Carl Brown

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

Gas

Energy company strikes deal with housing association

11/11/2015 | By Pete Apps

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

energy bills

Places for People unveils energy company

26/10/2015 | By Carl Brown

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

Win £500 of M&S vouchers

08/10/2015

Housing professionals have only three days remaining to enter a draw for £500 of Marks & Spencer vouchers by filling in a survey on energy procurement.

Loft insultation

NHF lobbies government after damp rise

15/09/2015 | By Corin Williams

The National Housing Federation is lobbying the government over quality standards for insulation.

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Finance

MERGER CODE CONCERN CAROUSEL 559px

Revealed: scale of merger code concern

12/02/2016 | By Heather Spurr

A significant number of chief executives say their housing associations are unlikely to sign up to a new sector-wide ‘merger code’.

for rent sign

Grainger reports 'strong performance'

11/02/2016 | By Carl Brown

Britain’s largest listed private landlord has announced higher rental increases, citing high demand amid a “strong trading performance”.

rent cut

Councils plan for PFI rent cut exemption

11/02/2016 | By Pete Apps

The government is considering granting housing built through private finance initiatives an exemption from the rent cut, according to council business plans.

housing money  house 559

Councils spend £27m of RTB funds buying back homes

11/02/2016 | By Pete Apps

Councils have spent almost £30m of cash raised through Right to Buy sales to buy back homes they were forced to sell at a discount under the same policy.

Stock pic of wheelchair

Council refuses 1% rent cut exemption

10/02/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

Stevenage Borough Council has pledged to defy the government and implement a 1% rent reduction for supported housing tenants.

Pocket Living

US investor eyes HA partners after Pocket deal

10/02/2016 | By Pete Apps

A giant American real estate investor which has taken a share of a UK affordable housing business says it would “welcome” the opportunity to work with London’s housing associations.

private flats

Grainger buys Kew sites and sells German arm

09/02/2016 | By Pete Apps

A large private rented sector landlord has sold its German arm and bought a £57.3m site in west London as it begins an £850m development drive.

Michael Heseltine

Estates regeneration panel unveiled

09/02/2016 | By Carl Brown

Two housing association chief executives have been named on a 17-strong panel of experts tasked with drawing up a national strategy for estate regeneration.

Stock pic of cranes

Redrow announces increased completions

09/02/2016 | By Carl Brown

Redrow has announced an 18% increase in completions in the first half of 2015/16, citing the government’s Help to Buy scheme as a factor in helping demand.

east thames development beckton

Offsite payments increase 72%

09/02/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

The value of payments made to councils by developers in lieu of onsite affordable housing has jumped 72% in a year, according to official figures.

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Legal

Houses of Parliament

Lords propose sweeping Housing Bill changes

03/02/2016 | By Pete Apps

Peers have unveiled plans to block the controversial imposition of Starter Homes, Pay to Stay, the extended Right to Buy and the end to lifetime tenancies.

For use in Inside Housing, 27 February 2015

Council ends controversial agreement

01/02/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

Winchester Council has voted to terminate a development agreement that was called in by the previous secretary of state and led to the resignation of the council leader last year.

SIR BOB KERSLAKE 394px

Minister rejects call for rent cut review

28/01/2016 | By Carl Brown

The government has rejected a call from former civil service head Sir Bob Kerslake to commission an independent review of the social housing rent cut.

Lord Freud

Freud promises to 'sort out LHA cap'

28/01/2016 | By Carl Brown

Lord David Freud has said the government will “urgently” act to make sure protections are in place for supported housing tenants from a benefit cut but refused to say what form this could take.

rent cut

Sector renews calls for 'LHA cap' exemption

28/01/2016 | By Heather Spurr

Sector figures have renewed calls for clarity over an exemption for supported housing from a proposed cap on benefits.

Shutterstock

Increase in complaints about allocations

27/01/2016 | By Carl Brown

Complaints and enquiries about councils’ housing allocations policies have increased 13% in a year, prompting concern from a local government watchdog.

House of Lords pic

Peers set to impose 1% rent cut exemption

26/01/2016 | By Pete Apps

Peers are poised to amend the Welfare Reform and Work Bill to exempt supported housing from the 1% rent cut.

Stock pic of wheelchair

Carers to be exempt from benefit cap

26/01/2016 | By Heather Spurr

Carers will be exempt from the £26,000 a year cap on benefits, the government has announced.

Deal

Birmingham Council launches partnership with associations

25/01/2016 | By Pete Apps

Housing associations have signed a joint deal with Birmingham Council to work together to address the housing challenges faced by the city.

House of Lords pic

Peers plan Housing Bill strategy

25/01/2016 | By Pete Apps

Peers from across the political spectrum are preparing a bid to water down the controversial Housing and Planning Bill, as it returns to the House of Lords this week.

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Care

Stethoscope

Landlord 'could save NHS £3m a year'

08/02/2016 | By Heather Spurr

A housing association has calculated it could save the National Health Service more than £3m a year through health interventions for older people.

rent cut

Government clarifies rent cut exemption

01/02/2016 | By Pete Apps

The government has provided a broad outline definition of the types of housing that will benefit from a one-year exemption to the rent cut.

Lord Freud

Freud promises to 'sort out LHA cap'

28/01/2016 | By Carl Brown

Lord David Freud has said the government will “urgently” act to make sure protections are in place for supported housing tenants from a benefit cut but refused to say what form this could take.

rent cut

Sector renews calls for 'LHA cap' exemption

28/01/2016 | By Heather Spurr

Sector figures have renewed calls for clarity over an exemption for supported housing from a proposed cap on benefits.

Man in wheelchair

Supported housing wins one year rent cut exemption

27/01/2016 | By Heather Spurr

The government will exempt supported housing from the 1% social rent cut for a year.

House of Lords pic

Peers set to impose 1% rent cut exemption

26/01/2016 | By Pete Apps

Peers are poised to amend the Welfare Reform and Work Bill to exempt supported housing from the 1% rent cut.

Stock pic of wheelchair

Carers to be exempt from benefit cap

26/01/2016 | By Heather Spurr

Carers will be exempt from the £26,000 a year cap on benefits, the government has announced.

money in a jar

Scottish Government rejects separate funding call

26/01/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

The Scottish Government has decided not to set up separate funding streams for supported housing and environmental projects, as recommended by an expert working group looking at subsidy rates.

rent cut

'Four in 10 schemes could close under HB cut'

26/01/2016 | By Pete Apps

Four in 10 schemes which provide a home to the most vulnerable could be forced to close their doors if the government pushes ahead with a controversial benefits cap, according to research by the National Housing Federation.

For use in Inside Housing, 31 July 2015

Joint Manchester company secures first contract

25/01/2016 | By Pete Apps

Greater Manchester’s housing associations have won the right to deliver their first public services contract through a pioneering joint company.

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Regulation

MERGER CODE CONCERN CAROUSEL 559px

Revealed: scale of merger code concern

12/02/2016 | By Heather Spurr

A significant number of chief executives say their housing associations are unlikely to sign up to a new sector-wide ‘merger code’.

HCA regulator social housing

Scottish regulator takes action against association

12/02/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

The Scottish Housing Regulator has taken action against a housing association in Paisley after finding “serious weaknesses” in the landlord’s governance and management of finances.

Clipboard

Association downgraded over VFM

11/02/2016 | By Heather Spurr

The English social housing regulator has downgraded a housing association’s governance rating because of concerns over how it considers strategy and measures value for money.

HCA regulator social housing

Government to review future of the HCA

10/02/2016 | By Heather Spurr

The government is to consider scrapping the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

DHP cover graphic

DHP allocations announced

05/02/2016 | By Carl Brown

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced individual local authority Discretionary Housing Payment allocations for 2016/17.

Stormont

CIH NI calls for PRS licensing

05/02/2016 | By Carl Brown

The Chartered Institute of Housing in Northern Ireland has called for mandatory licensing of private landlords.

HCA regulator social housing

Housing association placed on HCA's 'watch list'

04/02/2016 | By Heather Spurr

A London landlord has been placed on the social housing regulator’s ‘watch list’ after a number of reviews into its operations.

london tower blocks

Tower blocks viability concern due to 'LHA cap'

04/02/2016 | By Heather Spurr

The planned ‘Local Housing Allowance cap’ will make tower block accommodation difficult to let by pricing out younger benefit claimants, landlords have warned.

Houses of Parliament

Lords propose sweeping Housing Bill changes

03/02/2016 | By Pete Apps

Peers have unveiled plans to block the controversial imposition of Starter Homes, Pay to Stay, the extended Right to Buy and the end to lifetime tenancies.

Stock pic

Fears over 'LHA cap' impact on under-35s

03/02/2016 | By Carl Brown

Eight in 10 housing benefit awards for single social tenants under the age of 35 are over the proposed ‘Local Housing Allowance cap’, according to research by Shelter.

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