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All the latest breaking stories from the affordable housing sector.

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HCA plans to sell Accelerated Construction land in packages

30/03/2017 7:30 am | By Nick Johnstone

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) plans to start selling off its land in packages to secure developers for difficult sites.

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Pocket completes offsite schemes in London

30/03/2017 4:52 pm | By Pete Apps

An offsite housebuilding company has completed two residential buildings for first-time buyers with an affordable housing company.

joint venture

Peabody close to securing series of joint ventures

30/03/2017 2:27 pm | By Nick Johnstone

Peabody is close to securing a series of joint venture deals at a number of key sites across London, as it enters delivery mode on its development pipeline ahead of a planned merger.

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

30/03/2017 1:05 pm | By Nathaniel Barker

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

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Lambeth Council to block office-to-resi permitted development

30/03/2017 12:34 pm | By Nathaniel Barker

Lambeth Council will be able to force office-to-residential conversions to go through planning, after removing automatic development rights in parts of the borough.

house building

Record Help to Buy equity loans in last quarter of 2016

30/03/2017 11:46 am | By Pete Apps

The government made more than 12,000 Help to Buy equity loans in the last three months of 2016, the highest quarterly figure since the scheme was launched in 2013.

Liz Peace, chief executive of BPF

Liz Peace named chair of Old Oak Development Corporation

30/03/2017 11:41 am | By Pete Apps

The former chief executive of the British Property Federation is set to be appointed chair of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation – one of the largest development sites in London.

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Gap between LHA and cheapest rents making housing unaffordable for under-35s

30/03/2017 7:30 am | By Sophie Barnes

The gap between Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates and rents has widened to the point where private rented housing is “out of reach” for under-35s.

from left: Paul Wheelhouse, Helen Forsyth and Nicholas Gubbins of Community Energy Scotland

Scottish association launches wind farm

29/03/2017 4:21 pm | By Nathaniel Barker

A Scottish housing association has become the UK’s first to develop a wind farm in order to fund the build of homes for social rent.

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HCA hires Barratt director to head up Accelerated Construction

29/03/2017 4:21 pm | By Nick Johnstone

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has appointed Barratt Partnerships’ Stephen Kinsella as its new director of Accelerated Construction.

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Development

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HCA plans to sell Accelerated Construction land in packages

30/03/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) plans to start selling off its land in packages to secure developers for difficult sites.

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Pocket completes offsite schemes in London

30/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

An offsite housebuilding company has completed two residential buildings for first-time buyers with an affordable housing company.

joint venture

Peabody close to securing series of joint ventures

30/03/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

Peabody is close to securing a series of joint venture deals at a number of key sites across London, as it enters delivery mode on its development pipeline ahead of a planned merger.

PLANNING 394px

Lambeth Council to block office-to-resi permitted development

30/03/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

Lambeth Council will be able to force office-to-residential conversions to go through planning, after removing automatic development rights in parts of the borough.

house building

Record Help to Buy equity loans in last quarter of 2016

30/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

The government made more than 12,000 Help to Buy equity loans in the last three months of 2016, the highest quarterly figure since the scheme was launched in 2013.

Liz Peace, chief executive of BPF

Liz Peace named chair of Old Oak Development Corporation

30/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

The former chief executive of the British Property Federation is set to be appointed chair of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation – one of the largest development sites in London.

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HCA hires Barratt director to head up Accelerated Construction

29/03/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has appointed Barratt Partnerships’ Stephen Kinsella as its new director of Accelerated Construction.

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Javid: government will use Help to Buy to police leasehold practices

28/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

The government will only support builders which adopt “acceptable terms” to leasehold properties with its Help to Buy Equity Loan programme.

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Council seeks partner for 1,200-home regeneration

28/03/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is seeking a developer for a 1,200-home regeneration scheme.

Council offices

Lambeth approves 1,300-home estate redevelopment

27/03/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

Lambeth Borough Council has approved the redevelopment of a council estate which could pave the way for up to 1,300 homes.

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Repairs

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Mitie secures five-year repairs deal

27/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

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

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Association selects 16 contractors for £90m repairs framework

16/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

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

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Public housing construction slows, ONS figures reveal

10/03/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

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

Regulator

Regulator and ombudsman open talks over joint working

09/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

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

repairs

Bromford to pilot tenant DIY repairs scheme

03/03/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

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

Deal

Keepmoat sells regeneration business for £330m

02/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

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

The contracts will see Wates handle maintenance for 9,449 homes in London

London housing associations strike new maintenance deals

24/02/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

London housing associations Southern Housing Group and The Guinness Partnership have appointed Wates Living Space to repairs contracts worth a total of £13m.

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Councils phase out freephone repairs numbers

24/02/2017 | By Pete Apps

English councils are phasing out freephone repairs numbers as they seek to trim costs out of pressurised Housing Revenue Accounts.

Birmingham

Birmingham City Council approves £183m housing spend

14/02/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

Birmingham City Council has approved investing £183m into its housing services over the next four years.

repairs

Regulator knew of repairs issues before Circle upgrade

10/02/2017 | By Pete Apps

The housing regulator knew about serious problems with Circle’s repairs service affecting vulnerable tenants when it upgraded the organisation to compliant last year.

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Tenancies

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

30/03/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

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

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Dementia code for housing launched by charity

27/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

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

Scottish parliament

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

27/03/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

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

Council offices

Lambeth approves 1,300-home estate redevelopment

27/03/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

Lambeth Borough Council has approved the redevelopment of a council estate which could pave the way for up to 1,300 homes.

Terrie Alafat

Alafat: welfare reforms risk undermining housing aims

15/03/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The government’s welfare reforms risk undermining its aim to make housing more accessible, the chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing has warned.

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Scottish Government launches scrutiny guide for tenants

14/03/2017 | By Tom Wall

The Scottish Government has urged tenants to use a new guide to scrutinise social landlords in order to improve services.

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LGBT housing advice service given L&Q funding boost

14/03/2017 | By Tom Wall

Stonewall Housing, the housing advice service for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, has received a £180,000 boost from the L&Q Foundation to preserve its future after falling local authority funding.

young homeless homelessness youth

Under-21 housing benefit cut 'could place 9,000 at risk of homelessness'

06/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

Removing housing benefit from young people could see 9,000 left unable to access accommodation and placed at risk of homelessness, a charity has estimated.

Shutterstock

Social landlords need to be 'more open' to complaints, warns Scottish regulator

02/03/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Some Scottish social landlords need to be “more open and responsive” to complaints, the Scottish Housing Regulator has cautioned.

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Government reviewing associations' powers to evict problem tenants

23/02/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

The government has revealed it is undertaking a review of associations’ powers to evict anti-social tenants, as MPs heard calls for greater powers to protect neighbours yesterday.

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Eco

Thermographic image of property

Enfield to invest £58m in heat network

30/01/2017 | By Tim Clark

Enfield Council is to invest £58m to develop a community energy network which will supply low carbon heat and hot water to 15,000 homes.

solar panels, right time for social landlords to invest in energy efficiency

Government review calls for housing associations to lead on energy efficiency

19/12/2016 | By Sophie Barnes

Housing associations are hindered from making energy efficiency improvements to their homes because of financial pressures and “competing regulatory priorities”, a government-commissioned review has concluded.

Man fitting solar panel on roof

London boroughs pilot solar batteries

14/12/2016 | By Clare Mullooly

Three London boroughs are testing solar battery installations on social homes, in a bid to find a workable model for solar power after swingeing government cuts last year.

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.

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Labour will not back bid to block solar cuts

02/02/2016

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

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”.

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Finance

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Notting Hill buys £54m build-to-rent investment

29/03/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

Notting Hill Housing Group has bought a 112-unit slice of a build-to-rent scheme in east London.

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Investors: associations should publish half-yearly accounts

29/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

Housing associations should publish half-year accounts and report all market-sensitive disclosures on their website to comply with the needs of investors.

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AHF bond breaks £1bn issuance barrier

28/03/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

The Housing Finance Corporation (THFC) has priced an £88m tap of its second long-term bond under its government-backed finance scheme today, bringing the total bond to more than £1bn invested for the first time.

funding

DCLG announces £16.5m capacity fund allocations

28/03/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

A new £16.5m round of funding for councils to support housebuilding has been announced by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

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DCLG opens talks with associations over rent setting post-2020

28/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

Civil servants have opened talks with the sector over rent setting post-2020, with a return to an inflation-linked deal among the options discussed.

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Bond aggregator completes first deal since 2015

24/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

A bond aggregator has completed its first deal for more than a year, with a £40.2m bond for four housing associations.

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Kier forms joint venture with 11,000-home housing association

23/03/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Kier has announced a joint venture with an 11,000-home housing association as it reports a growth in profits in its half-year results.

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Shared ownership company buys housing association

23/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

A shared ownership specialist company has bought a housing association, as it seeks £1bn of institutional investment to fund new homes.

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Moody's: sales exposure to rise in future years

21/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

Debt, capital expenditure and exposure to the sales market will all rise as housing associations step up their development in the coming years, Moody’s has said.

Moody's warns credit rating

Association debt to exceed £80bn by 2019

21/03/2017 | By Nick Johnstone

Ratings agency S&P has said that housing association debt will exceed £80bn by 2019.

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Legal

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Ex-finance director pleads guilty to voyeurism and sexual assault

17/03/2017

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

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Councils meet with DCLG over bespoke deals

07/03/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

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

Fire in Southwark council block, 2009

Council fined £570,000 for Lakanal House fire failures

28/02/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

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

Fire in Southwark council block, 2009

Council pleads guilty to Lakanal House fire safety failures

24/02/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Southwark Council expressed its “sincere regret” today as it pleaded guilty to fire safety failures relating to a tower block fire that killed six people.

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House builders launch neighbourhood planning judicial review

26/01/2017 | By Simon Brandon

A group of 25 house builders and land promoters have launched a judicial review against a rule change allowing councils with Neighbourhood Plans to block development.

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Council prosecuted by fire service over Lakanal House blaze

04/01/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Southwark Council is facing prosecution for breaching fire safety regulations following the deaths of six people in the Lakanal House fire.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Care

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Dementia code for housing launched by charity

27/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

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

Supported housing

Civil servant quizzed over supported housing funding rationale

23/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

The government plans to use Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates as a measure for capping benefit in supported housing because they are “already there”, a senior civil servant has admitted. 

mental health

Three associations receive £100,000 grant for mental health project

20/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

Three London housing associations have received a £100,000 grant to expand a project to help older residents with mental health needs.

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A dozen associations 'have 2,000 supported housing units on hold'

15/03/2017 | By Tom Wall

A dozen housing associations have almost 2,000 partially developed supported housing units on hold due to uncertainty over funding, MPs heard yesterday.

merger

Vital Regeneration and Thames Reach agree merger

28/02/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

London homelessness prevention charities Thames Reach and Vital Regeneration have agreed a merger set to take effect on 1 March.

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Oxford City Council plans to guarantee private tenants' rent

27/02/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

Oxford City Council is planning to guarantee the rent of people at risk of becoming homeless, as it prepares for the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Bill.

ambulance

Ministers seek alarm improvements after tenant death

22/02/2017 | By Pete Apps

Ministers have promised to take steps to improve alarm services in social housing, after a man died waiting for an ambulance after contacting a housing association’s emergency call line.

Welsh Assembly

Report calls for Welsh pensioner homes budget

17/02/2017 | By Nathaniel Barker

Wales needs a special budget to encourage building homes for older people to help cope with the country’s ageing population, a report claims.

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LHA cap: £64m funding gap risks breaking service, providers warn

13/02/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The Local Housing Allowance cap for supported housing risks “breaking” sheltered housing, three major specialist housing providers have warned.

scotland

Scottish Government to reduce time children spend in temporary housing

09/02/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Children and pregnant women will spend no longer than one week in bed and breakfast (B&B) accommodation, the Scottish Government has pledged.

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Regulation

Regulator

3,000-home association under regulatory review

27/03/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The social housing regulator is reviewing the governance grading of Impact Housing Association because of concerns over its financial reporting and engagement.

Repairs maintenance contractor

Eight associations referred to regulator more than once by official bodies

16/03/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Eight housing associations have been reported to the regulator by official bodies more than once over the past five years because of repairs and maintenance concerns.

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S&P: deregulation 'will not damage credit ratings'

15/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

Impending deregulation will not damage credit ratings for English housing associations, a major ratings agency has confirmed.

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HCA publishes guidance on deregulated system

15/03/2017 | By Tom Wall

The Homes and Communities Agency has published guidance on a package of deregulatory changes for social landlords due to come into force in April.

Regulator

Regulator and ombudsman open talks over joint working

09/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

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

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Luminus made £235,000 loss from market sale

08/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

Luminus made a £235,000 loss from its open market sale developments as it booked a £6.5m deficit for the year, its previously unpublished accounts reveal.

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Regulator delays introduction of fees following consultation

03/03/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

The Homes and Communities Agency will delay its plan to introduce regulatory fees until October, following a consultation with the sector.

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Social landlords need to be 'more open' to complaints, warns Scottish regulator

02/03/2017 | By Sophie Barnes

Some Scottish social landlords need to be “more open and responsive” to complaints, the Scottish Housing Regulator has cautioned.

New regulator

Luminus non-compliant over governance and gas safety failures

01/03/2017 | By Pete Apps

A 7,300-home housing association has been made non-compliant for widespread governance failings, including leaving more than 1,000 properties without gas safety checks.

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Associations take £200m less than forecast from sales developments

28/02/2017 | By Pete Apps

London’s slowing housing market saw associations take £200m less than expected from sales last quarter, prompting the regulator to seek assurances over their viability.

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