Research finds postcode lottery for homelessness services, Japanese house builder makes grand entrance into UK market, and all your other major housing news stories
In the news
Young people are facing a postcode lottery when they seek out housing support, new research has found, with the Department for Work and Pensions’ approach to prevention slammed as merely a “box-ticking exercise”.
The Big Issue covers a report by Westminster thinktank Reform showing that of the more than 100,000 16 to 24-year-olds who went to their local housing service for help last year, basic information like date of birth was often missed – making it extremely difficult to identify vulnerable young people.
Researchers also found “huge variation” between areas in how effective personalised housing plans were, with “not all plans being well thought through or realistic”. In one instance, a personalised housing plan was written on the back of a napkin for one young person in need of help, the report found.
Most of the national newspapers have reported on the £90m deal that will see one of Japan’s biggest house builders, Sekisui House, entering the UK construction market. The Financial Times writes that the company, which was founded in 1960, delivered nearly 44,000 homes last year, which equated to 5% of the country’s 940,000 homes delivered last year.
Rising inequality in Britain risks putting the country on the same path as the US to become one of the most unequal nations on earth, according to Nobel prize-winning economist Sir Angus Deaton.
Sir Angus is leading a landmark review of inequality in the UK amid fears that the country is at a tipping point due to a decade of stagnant pay growth for British workers. Thinktank the Institute for Fiscal Studies, which is working with him on the study, told The Guardian that the economist would “point to the risk of the UK following the US”, which has extreme inequality levels in pay, wealth and health.
Conservative MP Victoria Prentis has written in Politics Home suggesting that increasing the country’s custom building housing stock is a practical way to solve its housing problems, build diverse communities and ensure good-quality, ecologically sound architecture.
The Liverpool Echo has a story about residents who were forced to leave their flats yesterday after fears over the fire safety of a building’s cladding.
Liverpool Council had issued a prohibition order on block B at Fox Street Village, one of five blocks that form the new development, warning of a “serious hazard”. The developer has vowed to fix the building.
Bristol Live has a comprehensive investigation into a sub-letting case in the city centre, where a lettings agency boss tried to evict a man from his home while one of the firm’s employees had been pocketing cash in rent.
Meanwhile, plans for more than 200,000 homes in Greater Manchester could be derailed if Bolton’s new council leader is swayed by Conservative colleagues, Bolton News reports.
Leader David Greenhalgh will be the only Conservative member of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority when he takes over in Bolton next week.
An investigation by Birmingham Live has revealed that the number of families living in bed and breakfast accommodation in the city has risen from 13 to 361 in the past three years.
In Wales, a charity has called for a scheme to identify young LGBT people at risk of homelessness.
Figures seen by Gareth Lewis’ programme on BBC Radio Wales suggest that 9% of under-25s using supported housing run by homelessness support organisation Llamau identified as LGBT, compared with 2% of the wider population.
BBC Wales also reports that homeless people in Cardiff could be living in converted shipping containers by the end of the year.
Work starts this month on 13 homes to be built on the site of a former vets’ clinic, with eight more in the grounds of a hostel in Ely. Similar schemes are already up and running in Merthyr Tydfil and Wrexham.
Kath Palmer, chief executive of Cadwyn Housing Association, said they would provide much-needed temporary housing, pending more permanent solutions.
On social media
The industry reacts to news that Japanese modular homes developer Sekisui House is set to enter the UK market via a joint venture with Homes England and Urban Splash:
This announcement is as big as it gets in UK’s #MMC evolution. Sekisui House will bring world leading manufacturing know how & capital to @urban_splash with UK government co-investment via @HomesEngland Well done @TomBloxhamMBE @HomesNickW on a real coup t.co/3bVjbNURDb— Mark Farmer (@MFarmer_Resi)
This announcement is as big as it gets in UK’s #MMC evolution. Sekisui House will bring world leading manufacturing know how & capital to @urban_splash with UK government co-investment via @HomesEngland Well done @TomBloxhamMBE @HomesNickW on a real coup https://t.co/3bVjbNURDb— Mark Farmer (@MFarmer_Resi) May 14, 2019