News

All the latest breaking stories from the affordable housing sector.

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Academy central

L&Q sets out plans to build 50,000 homes

27/03/2015 8:21 am | By Pete Apps , Heather Spurr

One of the country’s largest social landlords is set to launch a 50,000-home building drive without any government grant, in the most ambitious development programme the sector has ever seen.

Durham Cathedral Newcastle Crook

Durham negotiates April stock transfer date

27/03/2015 7:00 am | By Corin Williams

The government has agreed to fund a stock transfer of 18,500 homes despite it missing a deadline to write off the properties’ historic debt.

Calendar with circled date

Eleventh hour rent solution for landlords

27/03/2015 6:00 am | By Heather Spurr

Government officials have set up a temporary solution for social landlords facing delays and confusion over how to handle rent increases under universal credit.

Landlords urged to support BME sector in rationalisation deals

27/03/2015 | By Martin Hilditch

BME sector would benefit from transferral of stock by larger organisations

File tab marked Regulations

‘Worse than poor law’ benefit rule mothballed to post election

27/03/2015 | By Heather Spurr

New benefit regulations previously slammed as ‘worse than the poor law’ have been suspended until after the general election due to a key report.

Sign outside hotel

Government ends term with 55% rise in illegal B&B use Video

26/03/2015 4:26 pm | By Daniel Douglas

The number of families in bed and breakfast for longer than six weeks as at 31 December 2014 was 55% higher than the year before, according to official statistics released today.

Welfare reform 'failing to move tenants into work'

26/03/2015 10:52 am | By Heather Spurr

The coalition’s welfare reforms have failed to help social housing tenants into work, an academic study commissioned by social landlords said today.

Construction works

Councils hit back at minister over council companies threat

26/03/2015 6:00 am | By Heather Spurr

Defiant councils have struck back at Brandon Lewis after he accused local authorities of cheating tenants out of their Right to Buy through setting up housing companies.

manchester

Landlords in talks over Manchester health devolution

26/03/2015 0:01 am | By Corin Williams

Greater Manchester housing associations are in talks with senior NHS figures about taking a prominent role in healthcare after devolution.

Housing Benefits

Housing Benefits campaign launched today

26/03/2015 0:01 am | By Heather Spurr

Inside Housing has launched a campaign to demonstrate how the housing sector delivers widespread economic benefits to the government and to challenge myths about the sector.

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Development

Academy central

L&Q sets out plans to build 50,000 homes

27/03/2015 | By Pete Apps , Heather Spurr

One of the country’s largest social landlords is set to launch a 50,000-home building drive without any government grant, in the most ambitious development programme the sector has ever seen.

Construction works

Councils hit back at minister over council companies threat

26/03/2015 | By Heather Spurr

Defiant councils have struck back at Brandon Lewis after he accused local authorities of cheating tenants out of their Right to Buy through setting up housing companies.

Housing development

House builder hails ‘tremendous’ half-year results

25/03/2015 | By Corin Williams

Bellway has continued its strong financial performance and has posted a 41.2% increase in its gross profits, according to interim results.

FOR SALE

Landlords threaten legal action over Right to Buy extension

25/03/2015 | By Daniel Douglas

Sector leaders would challenge any government attempt to extend the Right to Buy policy for housing associations in court.

Building a roof

'Housebuilding makes nearly £20bn for UK economy'

24/03/2015 | By Daniel Douglas

The housebuilding industry delivers an estimated economic footprint of £19.2bn per year for the UK economy, according to a report released today.

inflation

Low inflation could hit business plans

24/03/2015 | By Pete Apps

Tumbling inflation could force housing associations to reconsider business plans and eventually scale back on development, it has been warned.

Cranes

Councils 'should rebuild estates at higher density'

24/03/2015 | By Daniel Douglas

Councils could knock down hundreds of estates and rebuild higher density ‘city villages’ to ease London’s housing crisis, a report suggests. 

Stock pic

Housing minister attacks sector over value for money

23/03/2015 | By Daniel Douglas

The sector ‘can and should do more’ on inefficiency, and value for money downgrades are ‘unacceptable’, the housing minister Brandon Lewis said today.

Brandon Lewis, new planning and housing minister

Minister will not allow councils to evade Right to Buy

23/03/2015 | By Heather Spurr

Brandon Lewis has warned he will not allow councils to set up companies that deny tenants access to the Right to Buy.

Sanctuary Group secures European Investment Bank funding

Housing associations eye PRS guarantees fund

23/03/2015 | By Pete Apps

Housing associations are eyeing up cheap debt to build thousands of private rented sector (PRS) homes through a government guarantees programme.

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Repairs

Stock transfer

Stock transfer signed off a week before deadline

24/03/2015 | By Pete Apps

A deal to transfer 8,500 Salford council homes to a new housing association has been finally signed off with just a week to spare.

Piggy bank

Resident involvement could save sector 'millions'

23/03/2015 | By Corin Williams

Resident participation could save the sector millions, a minister has claimed, following the publication of government-backed research into tenant involvement.

HCA regulator social housing

Regulator to launch inquiries on repairs and rent

19/03/2015 | By Heather Spurr

The regulator for social housing in Scotland is set to launch a string of inquiries on issues including repairs, gas safety and rent consultation, it has been announced.

Stock pic

Mears sees fall in social housing revenue

17/03/2015 | By Pete Apps

One of the sector’s largest repairs contractors saw its revenue from social housing dip because of expected falls in income from a company it merged with in 2012.

Spanners

Circle forced to escalate importance of repairs work

11/03/2015 | By Martin Hilditch

Circle Housing was forced to recategorise lower priority work to ‘urgent’ because it was taking so long to complete, councillors investigating problems with the service have been told.

Spanners

Circle ends contract with Kier

06/03/2015 | By Heather Spurr

One of London’s largest housing associations has ended its contract with repairs and maintenance firm Kier.

Elderly couple holding hands

Cold home deaths could be stopped by 'hidden army'

05/03/2015 | By Pete Apps

Health and housing providers should create a single point of contact to allow a ‘hidden army’ of front line staff to report cold homes, new guidance said today.

Sold sign

Number of owner-occupiers falls while private renter stats rise

25/02/2015 | By Pete Apps

The number of owner-occupiers has fallen while those renting privately continue to rise, according to the latest government analysis of the English housing market.

Cranes

Property giants report hikes in revenue

25/02/2015 | By Emily Twinch

Contracting giant Kier has reported an 11% rise in revenue in the six months to the end of last year from the year before, in its interim results released today.

CREATING_SOLID_PARTNERSHIPS

Repairs contractor announces drop in profit

19/02/2015 | By Carl Brown

Morgan Sindall’s affordable housing division has reported a 30% drop in operating profit, hit by an expected operating loss on responsive maintenance activities of £3.5m.

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Tenancies

Calendar with circled date

Eleventh hour rent solution for landlords

27/03/2015 | By Heather Spurr

Government officials have set up a temporary solution for social landlords facing delays and confusion over how to handle rent increases under universal credit.

Piggy bank

Resident involvement could save sector 'millions'

23/03/2015 | By Corin Williams

Resident participation could save the sector millions, a minister has claimed, following the publication of government-backed research into tenant involvement.

Sanctuary Group secures European Investment Bank funding

Housing associations eye PRS guarantees fund

23/03/2015 | By Pete Apps

Housing associations are eyeing up cheap debt to build thousands of private rented sector (PRS) homes through a government guarantees programme.

osborne budget 2015 pic

Orr criticises Osborne's 'Help to Buy ISA'

18/03/2015 | By Carl Brown

George Osborne has announced a new ‘Help to Buy ISA’ to help first-time buyers save for a deposit.

Stock pic of eviction order

Parliament passes law to ban 'revenge evictions'

17/03/2015 | By Daniel Douglas

A law to ban ‘revenge’ evictions was passed by the House of Lords after a long campaign spearheaded by housing charity Shelter. 

homeless woman

Charities call for review of homelessness help

16/03/2015 | By Carl Brown

Charities have written to party leaders calling for them to review the help given to single homeless people.

Leader, Liberal Democrats

Lib Dems set out plans for 30,000 rent-to-own homes

13/03/2015 | By Pete Apps

The Liberal Democrats have pledged to build 30,000 ‘rent-to-own’ homes by 2020, which allow buyers to own a home without a mortgage or deposit.

The Supreme Court final court of appeal in Parliament Square London

Court rules disability eviction cases could go to full trial

12/03/2015 | By Jess McCabe

Landlords could be taken to full court hearings if tenants argue they are being evicted as a result of problems related to their disability, after a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court yesterday.

southwark council houses

Anger over plans to limit PRS licensing

12/03/2015 | By Emily Twinch

Campaigning groups have slammed government plans to stop city or borough-wide private rented sector (PRS) licensing schemes.

MAYOR OF LONDON

London Assembly calls on Boris to support social rent

11/03/2015 | By Carl Brown

The London Assembly has today passed a motion calling on the London mayor Boris Johnson to put social rented homes at the centre of his housing strategy.

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Eco

New sustiainbility code

Star system to replace Code for Sustainable Homes

04/03/2015 | By Pete Apps

A star system for rating the sustainability of new homes, which will look at the impact on occupiers’ health and well-being, will be launched today.

File tab marked Regulations

Statistics watchdog to examine DCLG data proposal

27/01/2015 | By Carl Brown

The UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) is probing the Department for Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) controversial plan to publish key housing data less regularly.

For use in 26 September 2014

DCLG considers publishing data less frequently to save cash

21/01/2015 | By Carl Brown

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is considering publishing a key set of housing data every two years instead of annually in a bid to save cash.

Secretary of state for communities and local government

Pickles 'breached Gypsy and Traveller human rights'

21/01/2015 | By Daniel Douglas

Eric Pickles broke equality laws by calling in planning decisions regarding Gypsy and Traveller sites that fall within the green belt, the High court has ruled.

SOLAR PANELS

Taiwanese energy giant plots £65m investment in solar PV

20/01/2015 | By Pete Apps

A Taiwanese solar energy giant is planning to invest £65m in installing free energy-generating panels on the roofs of UK housing association homes this year.

westminster autumn

What's on this week 19 - 23 Jan

19/01/2015 | By Carl Brown

Emma Reynolds attends a London First event, draft renewable heat incentive regs will be discussed in the House of Commons and Inside Housing hosts a communications webinar

fuel poverty

Children's health 'being harmed by fuel poverty'

14/01/2015 | By Emily Twinch

Children’s health in the private rented sector (PRS) is being harmed with low income families struggling to pay their energy bills, according to a study released today.

south_of_maidstone

Government 'does not care about housing in rural areas'

13/01/2015 | By Pete Apps

The vast majority of people living in rural England do not believe the government cares about providing affordable housing in their communities, a new poll has revealed.

Stethoscope

Groundbreaking landlord scheme saves thousands for NHS

12/01/2015 | By Heather Spurr

The first NHS-backed three-way joint investment agreement with a group of social landlords to tackle fuel poverty has saved the health service tens of thousands of pounds, initial analysis suggests.

MANCHESTER_9

What's on in the housing sector this week - 12 - 16 Jan

12/01/2015 | By Laurna Robertson

A round up of what’s happening in the housing sector this week - 12 - 16 January

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Finance

Tai Calon homes

Welsh global accounts show drop in surplus Video

25/03/2015 | By Daniel Douglas

There has been a 12.9% reduction in the combined surplus of Welsh housing associations, global accounts published today show.

Housing development

House builder hails ‘tremendous’ half-year results

25/03/2015 | By Corin Williams

Bellway has continued its strong financial performance and has posted a 41.2% increase in its gross profits, according to interim results.

Money jar

Pension contributions to rise 'by same as 2013'

25/03/2015 | By Pete Apps

Contributions to reduce the gaping deficit in the sector’s pension scheme are likely to increase by the same level as they did three years ago.

FOR SALE

Landlords threaten legal action over Right to Buy extension

25/03/2015 | By Daniel Douglas

Sector leaders would challenge any government attempt to extend the Right to Buy policy for housing associations in court.

A2 Dominion issues £150m retail bond

MPs 'uneasy' over housing associations’ derivatives exposure

25/03/2015 | By Daniel Douglas

Housing associations’ exposure to the derivatives market could become a ‘matter of serious public concern’ in the next parliament, according to a report by the Communities and Local Government (CLG) committee.

inflation

Low inflation could hit business plans

24/03/2015 | By Pete Apps

Tumbling inflation could force housing associations to reconsider business plans and eventually scale back on development, it has been warned.

Stock transfer

Stock transfer signed off a week before deadline

24/03/2015 | By Pete Apps

A deal to transfer 8,500 Salford council homes to a new housing association has been finally signed off with just a week to spare.

Stock pic

Housing minister attacks sector over value for money

23/03/2015 | By Daniel Douglas

The sector ‘can and should do more’ on inefficiency, and value for money downgrades are ‘unacceptable’, the housing minister Brandon Lewis said today.

Piggy bank

Resident involvement could save sector 'millions'

23/03/2015 | By Corin Williams

Resident participation could save the sector millions, a minister has claimed, following the publication of government-backed research into tenant involvement.

Sanctuary Group secures European Investment Bank funding

Housing associations eye PRS guarantees fund

23/03/2015 | By Pete Apps

Housing associations are eyeing up cheap debt to build thousands of private rented sector (PRS) homes through a government guarantees programme.

MORE NEWS

Legal

FOR SALE

Landlords threaten legal action over Right to Buy extension

25/03/2015 | By Daniel Douglas

Sector leaders would challenge any government attempt to extend the Right to Buy policy for housing associations in court.

rough sleeping in London is down

Councils leave homeless teenagers 'hung out to dry'

20/03/2015 | By Heather Spurr

Just one in five of the thousands of homeless teenagers who seek help from local councils get housed, according to information released by 259 authorities.

The Supreme Court final court of appeal in Parliament Square London

Homeless mother wins landmark Supreme Court battle

20/03/2015 | By Daniel Douglas

A homeless mother of five has won a Supreme Court battle, which will affect councils looking to place families outside their areas.

Sign outside hotel

Drop in B&B investigations

19/03/2015 | By Daniel Douglas

The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) is investigating fewer complaints about homeless families living in bed and breakfast accommodation.

The Supreme Court final court of appeal in Parliament Square London

Supreme Court rules benefit cap does not break law

18/03/2015 | By Daniel Douglas

The government’s benefit cap does not breach the Human Rights Act, the Supreme Court has narrowly ruled in a judgement today.

Thousands attended from all over the UK

Sector unites for Homes for Britain

17/03/2015 | By Daniel Douglas

Buses, trains, cars, bikes, runners, marchers, and even a flying inflatable house – all across London today, the housing sector could be seen and heard calling for an end to the housing crisis. 

Stock pic of goal post

London Assembly calls for football club development charter

17/03/2015 | By Carl Brown

London Assembly members have called on Boris Johnson to publish a charter to ensure football clubs support mayoral housing targets when carrying out stadium-led regeneration projects.

Stock pic of eviction order

Parliament passes law to ban 'revenge evictions'

17/03/2015 | By Daniel Douglas

A law to ban ‘revenge’ evictions was passed by the House of Lords after a long campaign spearheaded by housing charity Shelter. 

The Supreme Court final court of appeal in Parliament Square London

Court rules disability eviction cases could go to full trial

12/03/2015 | By Jess McCabe

Landlords could be taken to full court hearings if tenants argue they are being evicted as a result of problems related to their disability, after a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court yesterday.

self build

Bill to boost custom-built homes approved

12/03/2015 | By Emily Twinch

A private members bill aimed at boosting self and custom-build homes has passed through the House of Lords unopposed and will now become law.

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Care

Sign outside hotel

Government ends term with 55% rise in illegal B&B use Video

26/03/2015 | By Daniel Douglas

The number of families in bed and breakfast for longer than six weeks as at 31 December 2014 was 55% higher than the year before, according to official statistics released today.

manchester

Landlords in talks over Manchester health devolution

26/03/2015 | By Corin Williams

Greater Manchester housing associations are in talks with senior NHS figures about taking a prominent role in healthcare after devolution.

Rachel Reeves

Labour to set target to cut benefit delays

25/03/2015 | By Heather Spurr

Labour has pledged to slash the number of people visiting food banks by setting a target to cut benefit delays within the party’s first year of office.

Poole 7

Sanctions deaths 'should be independently investigated' Video

24/03/2015 | By Daniel Douglas

Suicides which occur following a benefit sanction should be investigated by an independent commission, a parliamentary committee has said.

rough sleeping in London is down

Councils leave homeless teenagers 'hung out to dry'

20/03/2015 | By Heather Spurr

Just one in five of the thousands of homeless teenagers who seek help from local councils get housed, according to information released by 259 authorities.

The Supreme Court final court of appeal in Parliament Square London

Homeless mother wins landmark Supreme Court battle

20/03/2015 | By Daniel Douglas

A homeless mother of five has won a Supreme Court battle, which will affect councils looking to place families outside their areas.

Sign outside hotel

Drop in B&B investigations

19/03/2015 | By Daniel Douglas

The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) is investigating fewer complaints about homeless families living in bed and breakfast accommodation.

Ilo

Government to probe if housing can cut NHS costs

18/03/2015 | By Carl Brown

The government will examine whether improving housing can reduce costs to the National Health Service.

The Supreme Court final court of appeal in Parliament Square London

Court rules disability eviction cases could go to full trial

12/03/2015 | By Jess McCabe

Landlords could be taken to full court hearings if tenants argue they are being evicted as a result of problems related to their disability, after a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court yesterday.

Poole 7

Sanctions regime 'flawed', charity says

10/03/2015 | By Heather Spurr

A map showing how benefits sanctions are enforced unevenly around the country is evidence of a ‘flawed’ and ‘punitive’ regime, a charity said today.

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Regulation

A2 Dominion issues £150m retail bond

MPs 'uneasy' over housing associations’ derivatives exposure

25/03/2015 | By Daniel Douglas

Housing associations’ exposure to the derivatives market could become a ‘matter of serious public concern’ in the next parliament, according to a report by the Communities and Local Government (CLG) committee.

Stock pic

Housing minister attacks sector over value for money

23/03/2015 | By Daniel Douglas

The sector ‘can and should do more’ on inefficiency, and value for money downgrades are ‘unacceptable’, the housing minister Brandon Lewis said today.

HCA regulator social housing

Regulator set for further scrutiny in June

20/03/2015 | By Heather Spurr

A parliamentary committee is set to scrutinise the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) again this summer following a string of hearings over the past few months.

Money

Margins queried by regulator

20/03/2015 | By Pete Apps

HCA forecasts reveal that margins on social housing lettings will increase.

HCA regulator social housing

Regulator to launch inquiries on repairs and rent

19/03/2015 | By Heather Spurr

The regulator for social housing in Scotland is set to launch a string of inquiries on issues including repairs, gas safety and rent consultation, it has been announced.

Clipboard

Associations face downgrades for providing poor data

19/03/2015 | By Pete Apps

Housing associations are facing regulatory downgrades for providing poor or misleading data to the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

Clipboard

Regulator to introduce value for money focus

18/03/2015 | By Pete Apps , Heather Spurr

The Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) plans to follow England by introducing a new focus on value for money (VFM).

Stormont

Northern Ireland to move to English-style regulation

13/03/2015 | By Pete Apps

The Northern Irish housing sector will move towards a co-regulation model similar to England, under proposals for a massive overhaul of the current regulatory system.

File tab marked Regulations

Landlord receives downgrade for running low on spare cash

13/03/2015 | By Carl Brown

A housing association has been downgraded by the social housing regulator after running low on reserve borrowing in breach of its own policies.

Sanctuary to scrap Scottish subsidiaries

Scotland could gain powers to create benefits

13/03/2015 | By Heather Spurr

The Scottish government could gain devolved powers to create new benefits for tenants hit by welfare reform faster, it has said.

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Glasgow rooftops

What's on this week: 9 - 13 March

09/03/2015 | By Carl Brown

Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland conference starts, Crisis holds annual conference and self-build bill receives its third reading

Welsh Assembly

What's on this week: 2 - 6 March

02/03/2015 | By Carl Brown

A round-up of key events happening this week in housing