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All the latest breaking stories from the affordable housing sector.

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L&Q and East Thames complete merger and £2.6bn refinancing

06/12/2016 4:09 pm | By Nick Johnstone

L&Q and East Thames have completed their mega-merger, alongside a £2.6bn refinancing deal with eight banks.

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L&Q to launch £47m supported housing subsidiary

06/12/2016 4:17 pm | By Nick Johnstone

L&Q is planning a return to the supported accommodation sector with a new subsidiary called L&Q Living, which will manage more than 6,600 homes.

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Former Housing Corporation boss appointed association chair

06/12/2016 3:47 pm | By Clare Mullooly

The former chair of the Housing Corporation has been named chair of a new housing association, once its merger completes in the new year.

Moody's

Moody's: negative outlook for associations in 2017

06/12/2016 10:00 am | By Mark Smulian

English housing associations’ creditworthiness will suffer next year as shrinking grants and rental income drive them into riskier ventures.

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Scottish Government proposes planning fees hike

06/12/2016 8:53 am | By Sophie Barnes

The Scottish Government has proposed increasing planning fees more than fourfold for some major applications, as part of a consultation published today.

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Government working with councils on fixed-term tenancies

06/12/2016 7:30 am | By Sophie Barnes

The government has set up a working group of 20 councils to look at how to implement fixed-term tenancies, a key plank of the Housing and Planning Act.

sheffield

Sheffield associations and councils sign housing deal

05/12/2016 5:45 pm | By Mark Smulian

Social landlords and local authorities across the Sheffield City Region have signed a compact which they hope could lead to a devolution deal on housing.

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Builders hit back at Javid landbank threat

05/12/2016 5:35 pm | By Mark Smulian

House builders have hit back at a threat by communities secretary Sajid Javid to tackle alleged landbanking.

Hill Hyde

Hill and Hyde launch £150m joint venture

05/12/2016 5:30 pm | By Pete Apps

Hyde Housing Group and house builder Hill have launched their first joint venture, for 287 homes in Brent.

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£13bn housing investment included on infrastructure list

05/12/2016 12:43 pm | By Mark Smulian

Investment of almost £13bn in 18 housing projects and programmes has been listed in the government’s £500bn infrastructure pipeline.

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Development

sheffield

Sheffield associations and councils sign housing deal

05/12/2016 | By Mark Smulian

Social landlords and local authorities across the Sheffield City Region have signed a compact which they hope could lead to a devolution deal on housing.

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Builders hit back at Javid landbank threat

05/12/2016 | By Mark Smulian

House builders have hit back at a threat by communities secretary Sajid Javid to tackle alleged landbanking.

Hill Hyde

Hill and Hyde launch £150m joint venture

05/12/2016 | By Pete Apps

Hyde Housing Group and house builder Hill have launched their first joint venture, for 287 homes in Brent.

scotland

Scottish landlords 'lack capacity to meet target'

01/12/2016 | By Mark Smulian

Scotland’s social landlords doubt they have the capacity to deliver the Scottish Government’s target of 50,000 new affordable homes over five years.

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Welsh Government boosts grant after supply pact with sector

01/12/2016 | By Pete Apps

The Welsh Government has boosted housing grant funding by £30m this year, as social landlords sign a historic ‘supply pact’ to deliver 20,000 homes by 2021.

Manchester Skyline

Government injects £45m into 2,000 private rental homes

01/12/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

The government has announced a loan of £45m from its new Home Building Fund will go towards more than 2,000 private rental homes in Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester.

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LSE: emergency housing package for young needed

01/12/2016 | By Mark Smulian

An emergency package to house young working Londoners is urgently needed in the capital, according to a report from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

North of England

Regions sound concern over London allocation

30/11/2016 | By Mark Smulian

Housing association chief executives outside London have voiced concern about the diversion of resources into the capital’s affordable homes programme in last week’s Autumn Statement.

Tony Pidgley

Pidgley: we'll adjust land bids to meet 35% threshold

30/11/2016 | By Simon Brandon , Nick Johnstone , Mark Smulian

The influential chair of one of London’s biggest house builders says he will “adjust land bids” where necessary to meet Sadiq Khan’s 35% affordable housing threshold.

City Hall

Associations poised for strategic partnerships with GLA

30/11/2016 | By Simon Brandon , Pete Apps , Mark Smulian

Housing associations in London are poised to enter “strategic partnerships” with City Hall, as Sadiq Khan’s overhaul of affordable housing funding was hailed as a “defining moment in housing history”.

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Repairs

Spanners

Scottish tenants and associations say charter has improved landlord services

17/11/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

A majority of tenants and housing associations to respond to a consultation believe the quality of social landlord services has improved since the Scottish Government introduced a social housing charter.

Repairs maintenance contractor

'Community-controlled associations outperform larger counterparts'

16/11/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

Landlord services provided by community-controlled housing associations outperform those of other social landlords in Scotland, a report has suggested.

Beds in sheds

Shelter launches 'Living Home Standard'

17/10/2016 | By Heather Spurr

A homelessness charity has launched a ‘Living Home Standard’ to measure the acceptability of housing across all tenures.

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Kier reports increased profit and turnover

22/09/2016 | By Carl Brown

Contractor Kier Group has reported increased profit and turnover in its residential business, saying the Brexit referendum result has had “no material impact” on its operations.

Spanners

HCA to probe associations' repairs cuts

21/09/2016 | By Carl Brown

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) will examine English housing associations’ business plans to check that significant cuts to repairs spending are not a sign of a “failure to maintain stock”.

Spanners

Wates lands 13,900-home repairs contract

08/09/2016 | By Carl Brown

Wates Living Space Maintenance has been awarded a £24m repairs contract by London-based housing association Network Homes.

Shepherd's Bush fire

Tower block blaze 'caused by faulty dryer'

30/08/2016

A huge blaze that ripped through five floors of a council-owned tower block was caused by a faulty tumble dryer, the London Fire Brigade has confirmed.

Spanners

NHF: association stock 'in better condition' than other tenures

10/08/2016 | By Carl Brown

Housing association properties are more likely to be in a better condition than homes owned by councils and private landlords, according to research by the National Housing Federation (NHF).

Former Ministry of Defence properties at Howe Barracks in Canterbury.

Investors sought for 40,000 Armed Forces homes

20/07/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

Senior figures linked to a Ministry of Defence department are seeking to encourage investors to buy around 40,000 Armed Forces homes from a private company.

Former Ministry of Defence properties at Howe Barracks in Canterbury.

Armed forces left without heating and hot water, finds PAC

13/07/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

The Ministry of Defence and one of its contractors are “badly letting down” armed forces’ families by giving them “poor accommodation”, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has concluded.

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Tenancies

Lord Freud

Lord Freud announces his retirement

01/12/2016

Lord David Freud, the minister for welfare reform who has overseen the introduction of Universal Credit, has announced he will retire from his ministerial position at the end of December.

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Barwell: affordable rented homes could be prioritised over social rented

24/11/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

Housing associations could be expected to prioritise affordable rented homes over social rented in an effort to drive up housing numbers, the housing minister has said.

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Right to Buy extension delayed until at least 2018

24/11/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

The national roll-out of Right to Buy for housing association tenants will not take place until after April 2018 at the earliest, with the sell-off of high-value council homes also delayed.

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Councils reject voluntary Pay to Stay

24/11/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

Conservative councils are among several which will not introduce the controversial Pay to Stay policy for their

lettings agent protest

Government to ban letting agents' fees

23/11/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

The government has announced a ban on letting agents charging fees in the private rented sector during tomorrow’s Autumn Statement.

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Government scraps compulsory Pay to Stay

21/11/2016 | By Pete Apps

The government has scrapped its plans to force councils to charge higher-income tenants rents of up to market rates.

Spanners

Scottish tenants and associations say charter has improved landlord services

17/11/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

A majority of tenants and housing associations to respond to a consultation believe the quality of social landlord services has improved since the Scottish Government introduced a social housing charter.

Repairs maintenance contractor

'Community-controlled associations outperform larger counterparts'

16/11/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

Landlord services provided by community-controlled housing associations outperform those of other social landlords in Scotland, a report has suggested.

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Scottish regulator issues rent consultation warning

10/11/2016 | By Chloë Stothart

Not enough Scottish social landlords are consulting their tenants about rent rises, the sector’s regulator has said.

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'Intimidation points' under review in Northern Ireland

07/11/2016 | By Chloë Stothart

The system for rehousing victims of intimidation in Northern Ireland is being reviewed as part of an overhaul of the housing allocations system after allegations that it is unfair.

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Eco

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”.

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.

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Finance

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L&Q and East Thames complete merger and £2.6bn refinancing

06/12/2016 | By Nick Johnstone

L&Q and East Thames have completed their mega-merger, alongside a £2.6bn refinancing deal with eight banks.

SUPPPORTED HOUSING 394px

L&Q to launch £47m supported housing subsidiary

06/12/2016 | By Nick Johnstone

L&Q is planning a return to the supported accommodation sector with a new subsidiary called L&Q Living, which will manage more than 6,600 homes.

Moody's

Moody's: negative outlook for associations in 2017

06/12/2016 | By Mark Smulian

English housing associations’ creditworthiness will suffer next year as shrinking grants and rental income drive them into riskier ventures.

INFRASTRUCTURE 394px

£13bn housing investment included on infrastructure list

05/12/2016 | By Mark Smulian

Investment of almost £13bn in 18 housing projects and programmes has been listed in the government’s £500bn infrastructure pipeline.

Moody's warns credit rating

Stonewater retains credit rating from Moody's

02/12/2016 | By Mark Smulian

Housing association Stonewater has retained its A1 rating from credit ratings agency Moody’s.

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Grainger profits leap 64%

01/12/2016 | By Mark Smulian

Growing demand in the private rented sector has driven a 64% leap in pre-tax profit for residential landlord Grainger.

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Clarion Group formed as mega-merger completes

30/11/2016 | By Pete Apps

Affinity Sutton and Circle Housing Group have completed their long-awaited ‘mega-merger’, joining forces to become Clarion Housing Group, the UK’s largest housing association and one of its biggest house builders.

Moody's warns credit rating

Guinness placed on 'negative' outlook by credit agency

29/11/2016 | By Mark Smulian

One of the UK’s largest social landlords has had its credit outlook moved to negative, due to increasing levels of open market sale.

downgrade

Moody's places L&Q and Affinity 'under review for downgrade'

29/11/2016 | By Nick Johnstone

L&Q and Affinity Sutton are both facing ratings downgrades as a result of their respective mergers with East Thames and Circle Housing Group.

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Willmott Dixon sees 48% rise in pre-tax profits

28/11/2016 | By Simon Brandon

Construction firm Willmott Dixon has posted a 48% rise in half-year pre-tax profits to June.

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Legal

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.

Finance director, Glasgow Housing Association

Ex-finance director faces voyeurism charges

26/05/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

The ex-finance director of the largest housing association in Scotland has been charged with offences related to voyeurism.

affordable

Court backs government planning policy

12/05/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

The Court of Appeal has backed a government decision to waive affordable housing requirements for small developments.

STRIKE_2

'Blacklisting' case settled out of court

09/05/2016 | By Pete Apps

Construction firms will pay £10m to workers who claimed they were blacklisted for union activities, concluding a long-running legal battle.

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Care

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L&Q to launch £47m supported housing subsidiary

06/12/2016 | By Nick Johnstone

L&Q is planning a return to the supported accommodation sector with a new subsidiary called L&Q Living, which will manage more than 6,600 homes.

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255,000 homeless in England, says Shelter

01/12/2016 | By Mark Smulian

Some 255,000 people are homeless in England, housing charity Shelter has found.

Rough sleeping

Government commits extra £10m to rough sleeping fund

24/11/2016 | By Corin Williams

The government is to pump an extra £10m into the Rough Sleeping Fund over two years, doubling the money for “innovative approaches”.

Cathy carousel

One in three councils took children into care due to homelessness

18/11/2016 | By Martin Hilditch

One in three councils took a child into care in 2014/15 where a central reason for the decision was the family’s homelessness, an Inside Housing investigation has revealed.

Ilo

Report finds housing race inequalities

21/10/2016 | By Heather Spurr

Stark racial disadvantages and discrimination still exist in housing despite a raft of reforms since the 1960s, a report sponsored by housing associations has said.

Housing estate

Troubled Families Programme 'had no significant impact'

18/10/2016 | By Heather Spurr

A flagship government programme to improve the lives of “troubled families” has had no significant impact, a report commissioned by ministers has found.

Campbell Robb

Shelter chief to depart for JRF

06/10/2016 | By Carl Brown

Campbell Robb has announced he is leaving his role as chief executive of Shelter to join the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Gary Porter, chair LGA

LGA chair hits out at supported housing duty proposal

03/10/2016 | By Heather Spurr

The chair of the Local Government Association (LGA) has pledged to oppose proposals for a new duty on councils to provide supported housing.

Andy Burnham

Burnham: give Manchester its own welfare budget

27/09/2016 | By Pete Apps

Andy Burnham has called on the government to devolve welfare spending to Greater Manchester.

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'LHA cap' will apply to existing supported housing tenants

21/09/2016 | By Heather Spurr

A new housing benefit cap will apply to existing as well as future supported housing tenants, a senior Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) official has said.

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Regulation

Regulator

'New regulator is not a return to TSA,' say HCA leaders

05/12/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

Senior leaders at the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) have hit back at criticisms over regular changes to the social housing regulator over the past decade.

Brexit

Sector in 'robust' position to face post-Brexit economy

02/12/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

The housing association sector is in a “robust” position to respond to economic uncertainty following the Brexit vote, according to the latest quarterly survey from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

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Welsh regulator to introduce performance standards

01/12/2016 | By Pete Apps

The Welsh regulator will introduce a series of governance and viability standards for the first time, as part of a package to take housing associations off the national balance sheet.

HCA regulator social housing

Scottish regulator ends intervention at housing association

01/12/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

The Scottish Housing Regulator has ended its intervention at Wellhouse Housing Association after nearly two years.

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Government proposes new social housing regulator

30/11/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

The government plans to create a new social housing regulator, separate from the Homes and Communities Agency.

regulation

Midlands association downgraded over governance concerns

30/11/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

Wrekin Housing Group (WHG) has been downgraded by the housing regulator due to weaknesses in risk management across its large group structure.

Regulator

Regulator launches fees consultation

25/11/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

The social housing regulator has launched its consultation into charging fees, with a preferred start date of April next year.

For single use only on 25 November 2016

Landlords join forces to create efficiency metrics

25/11/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

A group of housing associations have joined forces in an attempt to create an authoritative set of metrics to measure efficiency, with support from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

App

Regulator to reveal individual landlords' cost data

17/11/2016 | By Pete Apps

The English social housing regulator will publish data showing named individual housing associations’ costs this year, as part of its drive to improve the sector’s efficiency.

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Ashby: smaller associations need to collaborate to compete

16/11/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

Smaller housing associations need to collaborate with each other in order to compete with larger landlords in a “new era” of mergers, the chair of the Homes and Communities Agency Regulation Committee has cautioned.

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