News

All the latest breaking stories from the affordable housing sector.

All

NEIL HADDEN CAROUSEL 559px

Genesis and TVH 'disagreed over further mergers'

30/08/2016 7:30 am | By Carl Brown

Genesis wanted to push for further mergers after its deal with Thames Valley Housing (TVH) completed, Inside Housing can reveal.

RENT TO PAY CAROUSEL 559px

Tenants 'face average £1,000 rent hike'

29/08/2016 0:01 am | By Heather Spurr

Council tenants across England face rent hikes of £1,000 a year on average under the government’s Pay to Stay scheme, according to research published today.

For use in Inside Housing, 2 September 2016

Place at the table Video

30/08/2016 7:30 am | By Carl Brown

Tenants are helping to devise an alternative merger code. Carl Brown finds out why

accounts results statements financial

Association records £8.8m surplus

30/08/2016 7:30 am | By Pete Apps

A 6,500-home housing association has reported an £8.8m surplus for the last financial year, a small dip on its previous figure.

Clive Betts

Select committee to scrutinise new homelessness law

26/08/2016 12:58 pm | By Heather Spurr

A parliamentary committee has launched an inquiry into a private members’ bill that aims to reduce homelessness.

SAJID JAVID 394px

Javid scuppers rural development plans

26/08/2016 12:48 pm | By Heather Spurr

Sajid Javid has rejected two applications in rural Essex to build a total of 1,500 new homes, following appeals by the developers.

diversity pledge

Developers and housing figures urged to sign up to diversity pledge

26/08/2016 10:19 am | By Pete Apps

Sadiq Khan’s top housing team have signed up to a pledge to promote better speaker diversity at industry events.

RIGHT TO BUY 559px

Merseyside RTB sales increased due to low demand elsewhere

26/08/2016 7:30 am | By Pete Apps

The number of homes sold in Merseyside under the Right to Buy extension pilot was upped to compensate for low sales elsewhere, Inside Housing can reveal.

piggy bank funding

Lenders ramp up scrutiny ahead of deregulation drive

26/08/2016 7:30 am | By Heather Spurr

Lenders are toughening up their scrutiny of English housing association mergers as the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) prepares to scale down regulation of the sector.

Magnifying glass

Healey calls for NAO investigation into RTB fraud

25/08/2016 4:52 pm | By Pete Apps

A former housing minister has called on the National Audit Office (NAO) to look into Right to Buy fraud, following an Inside Housing investigation.

MORE NEWS

Development

Cranes

36,400 homes started in first quarter of year

25/08/2016 | By Carl Brown

A total of 36,400 homes were started in England in April to June, less than the 50,000-a-quarter average needed to meet the government’s one million homes target.

Stock pic

Government 'to miss 1m homes target', consultancy forecasts

24/08/2016 | By Heather Spurr

The government is set to miss its one million homes target as a result of market uncertainty following the Brexit vote, a consultancy has forecast.

CE, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations

SFHA chief outlines barriers to development

24/08/2016 | By Carl Brown

Concerns about land availibility, access to funding, the planning system and workforce skills could stand in the way of delivering the Scottish government’s 50,000-home affordable homes target, associations will warn today.

city hall

G15 chair on board of Khan's new housing body

23/08/2016 | By Pete Apps

The chair of the G15 and four council leaders will sit on the governance board of a new body set up by Sadiq Khan to oversee housebuilding in the capital.

Aberdeen council

1,700-home scheme approved for the second time

23/08/2016 | By Carl Brown

Councillors in Aberdeen have re-approved plans for a 1,700-home scheme following a legal challenge.

Merger

Hyde Group 'still open to mergers'

23/08/2016 | By Carl Brown

Hyde Group is still open to merging with other landlords, despite pulling out of plans to form a 135,000-home group with L&Q and East Thames last month.

Sadiq Khan

Khan paves way for scheme with 9.6% affordable housing

22/08/2016 | By Carl Brown

Sadiq Khan has paved the way for a development with an affordable housing level of just 9.6%.

Right to Buy and David Orr

Orr: £9bn housing benefit to private landlords is 'madness'

20/08/2016 | By Carl Brown

The National Housing Federation’s (NHF) chief executive has branded a doubling of the total housing benefit paid to private landlords over 10 years as ‘madness’, as he renews calls for more flexibility for associations.

Town hall

Who's Who deadline approaches

19/08/2016 | By Carl Brown

There is only one week left to nominate colleagues or contacts for Inside Housing’s inaugural Who’s Who in Local Authority Housing Development project.

Stock pic of cranes

Scottish council to build extra 1,000 homes

18/08/2016 | By Carl Brown

North Lanarkshire Council is to increase its new build programme by 1,000 homes.

MORE NEWS

Repairs

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.

repairs

Midlands council could set up repairs company

12/07/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

Stoke-on-Trent Council is considering setting up a company to deal with the repairs and maintenance of its council housing.

housing money  house 559

North East associations set up cost-sharing vehicle

08/07/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

Two housing associations in the North East have set up a cost-sharing company in a bid to drive down their spending.

Northern Ireland Housing Executive building on Adelaide Street in Belfast

NIHE repairs contracts announced

08/07/2016 | By Pete Apps

The Northern Irish Housing Executive (NIHE) has named four contractors to carry out up to £1bn of repairs across its 87,000 homes over the next 10 years.

repairs

Contracts may need to be altered post Brexit

28/06/2016 | By Corin Williams

Housing associations have been told they may need to increasingly alter their asset management services contracts in the wake of political and financial instability caused by the UK’s forthcoming exit from the EU.

PROCUREMENT MANAGEMENT 360px

Materials supply framework launched

17/06/2016 | By Pete Apps

A buying club has launched its latest procurement framework – a list of materials suppliers for public sector organisations to access.

CONSTRUCTION 394px

Association to demolish new blocks due to defects

25/05/2016 | By Carl Brown

A housing association is to demolish 48 homes just six years after they were built after uncovering a wide range of defects in the development.

Money, surplus, annual results, financial, finance, accounts

Mitie grows profit in 'year of two halves'

23/05/2016 | By Pete Apps

A major contractor has grown its operating profit from property management to £15.8m, despite a “year of two halves” in its social housing business.

MORE NEWS

Tenancies

For use in Inside Housing, 2 September 2016

Place at the table Video

30/08/2016 | By Carl Brown

Tenants are helping to devise an alternative merger code. Carl Brown finds out why

fraud

IT analyst guilty of £430,000 housing association fraud

19/08/2016 | By Carl Brown

A former IT analyst has today been convicted of fraud after attempting to con Genesis Housing Association out of £430,000.

DATA LED DECISIONS 1 643px

NHF crowdfunds Pay to Stay data tool

19/08/2016 | By Pete Apps

The National Housing Federation (NHF) has called on members to help crowdfund £70,000 for a data project estimating tenants’ incomes ahead of the voluntary introduction of Pay to Stay.

investigate

Watchdog warns councils to be flexible in complex cases

11/08/2016 | By Carl Brown

Councils should be flexible in their housing policies when dealing with people with complex needs, a watchdog has said.

Stock pic

Social landlord possession claims continue to fall

11/08/2016 | By Carl Brown

Possession claims issued by social landlords have continued to fall, Ministry of Justice figures show.

Shared ownership keys house buy

New scheme to help tenants buy their social homes

11/08/2016 | By Pete Apps

One of the UK’s largest housing associations plans to discount tenants’ rents, freeze property prices and top up savings in a pioneering bid to help tenants buy their social home.

Man in hooded jacket

Scottish landlord criticised for lack of ASB policy

29/07/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

A housing association has been criticised by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) for failing to have an anti-social behaviour (ASB) policy in place for its supported housing.

supported housing

300,000 disabled people 'in unsuitable housing'

29/07/2016 | By Heather Spurr

Hundreds of thousands of disabled people are feeling hopeless and isolated, trapped in unsuitable housing, academics have found.

pay to stay house guarding

Government urged to delay Pay to Stay

27/07/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

Councils and arm’s-length management organisations are calling on ministers to delay the introduction of Pay to Stay to avoid a ‘tight’ timetable, after the government failed to publish regulations before the parliamentary recess.

Scottish parliament

Reduce 'LHA cap' impact, say Scottish landlords

20/07/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

Scottish ministers should use their new welfare powers to ease the impact of UK government cuts to housing benefit, housing experts have said.

MORE NEWS

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.

green house in hand 559

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.

MORE NEWS

Finance

NEIL HADDEN CAROUSEL 559px

Genesis and TVH 'disagreed over further mergers'

30/08/2016 | By Carl Brown

Genesis wanted to push for further mergers after its deal with Thames Valley Housing (TVH) completed, Inside Housing can reveal.

For use in Inside Housing, 2 September 2016

Place at the table Video

30/08/2016 | By Carl Brown

Tenants are helping to devise an alternative merger code. Carl Brown finds out why

accounts results statements financial

Association records £8.8m surplus

30/08/2016 | By Pete Apps

A 6,500-home housing association has reported an £8.8m surplus for the last financial year, a small dip on its previous figure.

RIGHT TO BUY 559px

Merseyside RTB sales increased due to low demand elsewhere

26/08/2016 | By Pete Apps

The number of homes sold in Merseyside under the Right to Buy extension pilot was upped to compensate for low sales elsewhere, Inside Housing can reveal.

POTENTIAL MERGER 559px

Politicians call for inquiry into Welsh merger

25/08/2016 | By Pete Apps

Local politicians have called for an inquiry into a controversial Welsh merger, as a row erupts over a lack of tenant consultation.

extension

The Right to Buy extension

24/08/2016

Last year, it was the headline pledge of the Tory manifesto. Fifteen months on, here is our briefing on where things stand.

merger

Shareholders ratify Tai Cantref merger

24/08/2016 | By Carl Brown

Shareholders of a Welsh housing association have given the green light to a merger.

FOR SALE 559px

HCA keeps watch as associations miss sales forecasts

24/08/2016 | By Heather Spurr

The English social housing regulator is keeping a “careful watch” after housing associations missed their forecast sales revenue by more than a quarter in the run-up to the referendum.

neil hadden genesis

Housing associations cancel merger

23/08/2016 | By Pete Apps

Genesis and Thames Valley have cancelled their merger plans at the eleventh hour citing “differences in style and approach”.

Stock pic of cranes

Confidence returns following Brexit wobble, says Persimmon

23/08/2016 | By Pete Apps

One of the UK’s largest house builders says confidence has returned to the sales market after “modest” jitters following the EU referendum in June.

MORE NEWS

Legal

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.

RIPPLE 394px

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.

Elderly Accommodation Council to get £1.5 million

DCLG: Tenancies change will not hit protected groups

05/05/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

The phasing out of lifetime tenancies will not negatively impact protected demographic groups overall, the government has said.

Trudy Ali Balogun

Housing officer jailed over homelessness fraud

04/05/2016 | By Pete Apps , Agencies

A council housing officer was jailed for five years today after a “sophisticated” fraud which saw her process 23 bogus homelessness applications.  

Westminster Parliament government

Peers push back on Housing and Planning Bill

04/05/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

Peers are pushing back on the government’s rejection of their amendments in the Housing and Planning Bill.

MORE NEWS

Care

Image for use in 5 December 2014

'More older people's housing could save taxpayer £14bn'

19/08/2016 | By Carl Brown

The taxpayer could save £14.5bn over 50 years if just one couple among every 50 older homeowners downsizes into specialist retirement housing.

Stock pic

Council 'failed to assess disabled woman's housing need'

18/08/2016 | By Carl Brown

Haringey Council failed to adequately assess a disabled woman’s priority for housing, leaving her housebound and at risk for six months longer than she should have been, the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) has found.

supported housing

Disability charities call for certainty over 'LHA cap'

04/08/2016 | By Heather Spurr

A group of 15 disability charities has called on the government to end the uncertainty over the future of supported housing, after ministers delayed an announcement until autumn.

supported housing

300,000 disabled people 'in unsuitable housing'

29/07/2016 | By Heather Spurr

Hundreds of thousands of disabled people are feeling hopeless and isolated, trapped in unsuitable housing, academics have found.

supported housing

Some supported housing could avoid 'LHA cap'

26/07/2016 | By Heather Spurr

Associations could lessen the impact of the government’s ‘Local Housing Allowance (LHA) cap’ by leasing their supported housing to a non-registered subsidiary.

Westminster Parliament government

Minister delays supported housing announcement until autumn

20/07/2016 | By Heather Spurr

The government has put off an announcement into the future funding of supported housing until after the summer recess.

David Bogle

Hightown takes on support services contracts from Radian

18/07/2016 | By Pete Apps

A Hertfordshire-based landlord has taken on 30 care and support services from another association.

CASH 559px

Cash strapped councils turn down 21% of DHP applications

13/07/2016 | By Gavriel Hollander

English councils with tenants hit hardest by welfare cuts are turning down one in five applicants for a hardship fund.

WHEELCHAIR CAROUSEL 559px

DWP plans longer-term supported housing exemption

08/07/2016 | By Heather Spurr

Ministers plan to extend an exemption for supported housing from the ‘Local Housing Allowance cap’ as they seek a long-term solution to the problem.

Two figures sitting on a pile of one pound coins

Third of councils top-up DHP pots

07/07/2016 | By Pete Apps

A third of councils dug into reserve budgets to support struggling tenants as their government-allocated hardship funding ran dry.

MORE NEWS

Regulation

piggy bank funding

Lenders ramp up scrutiny ahead of deregulation drive

26/08/2016 | By Heather Spurr

Lenders are toughening up their scrutiny of English housing association mergers as the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) prepares to scale down regulation of the sector.

FOR SALE 559px

HCA keeps watch as associations miss sales forecasts

24/08/2016 | By Heather Spurr

The English social housing regulator is keeping a “careful watch” after housing associations missed their forecast sales revenue by more than a quarter in the run-up to the referendum.

HCA regulator social housing

Regulator reports drop in tenant complaints

23/08/2016 | By Heather Spurr

The number of consumer complaints about social landlords received by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) fell by more than a fifth last year, new figures reveal.

rent

NHF to draw up new rent-setting model

04/08/2016 | By Heather Spurr

The National Housing Federation (NHF) is drawing up detailed proposals for a new model for rent-setting, which it hopes ministers will back as part of the government’s deregulation agenda.

REGULATIONS 360px

Association downgraded over transparency concerns

27/07/2016 | By Heather Spurr

A 14,000-home housing association had its governance downgraded by the social housing regulator due to concerns over its “transparency and accountability”.

HCA probes landlords

HCA probes landlords over market risk

22/07/2016 | By Heather Spurr

The English social housing regulator is probing housing associations that are particularly exposed to a housing market downturn following the Brexit vote.

HCA regulator social housing

Housing association found 'non-compliant'

21/07/2016 | By Heather Spurr

A housing association has been judged ‘non-compliant’ on both governance and financial viability after a damning report by the social housing regulator.

Gas safety

Paradigm rapped over gas safety failure

21/07/2016 | By Heather Spurr

A housing association led by the former head of the social housing regulator has been criticised by the Homes and Communities Agency for gas safety failures.

develop

MPs issue call for new ombudsman

15/07/2016 | By Carl Brown

A group of MPs has published its report calling for the government to set up a new ombudsman to resolve disputes between buyers of new homes and house builders.

REGULATIONS CAROUSEL 559px

Large housing association rated 'non-compliant'

11/07/2016 | By Heather Spurr

The social housing regulator has downgraded a housing association’s governance to a non-compliant rating over “significant weaknesses” in its information about its housing stock.

MORE NEWS