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Right to buy extension will put more housing benefit in pockets of private landlords - analysis

21st April 2015

The extension of the right to buy to housing associations will add to the amount of housing benefit being paid to private landlords, according to the GMB union. The GMB claims more than £9 billion in housing benefit is currently paid to PRS landlords due to the shortage of social housing. Analysis by the GMB shows that of the 4.2 million households living in private rented accommodation in Britain, 38% (or 1.6 million) require housing benefit to cover all or part of the rent. And the union claims the si...

Affordable housing delivery in London 'at lowest point since 2004'

21st April 2015

Affordable housing delivery in London is at its lowest point for over 10 years, a new report revealed today. Research carried out by the London Tenants Federation shows the number of homes for social rent and 'affordable rent' delivered in 2013/14 dropped to 4,221 - the lowest total since housing targets were first set in the 2004 London Plan. According to the research, only 50% of Boris Johnson’s annual target for 13,200 additional affordable homes was met while just 28% of the total new...

Shelter survey shows parental gloom over children’s homeowning hopes

21st April 2015

A new survey from Shelter shows 49% of parents in Britain whose children haven’t bought a home think the only way they will be able to buy is with inheritance from them. The YouGov research, commissioned by the charity, highlighted that many parents feel high house prices and a lack of affordable homes are leaving their children priced out. Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “No parent wants to think the only way for their children to ever own a home of their own is thr...

Opinion: When compassion wins out over the politics of loathing

20th April 2015

By Mike Owen, chief executive, Merthyr Valleys Homes Last December, I wrote a blog for 24housing about an EU migrant. I called her Nerys and explained how she was trapped between anti-migrant legislation and a violent partner. Just to recap, Nerys is young mother from Poland who moved to Merthyr Tydfil with her three children to live with her boyfriend. Fuelled on drugs and drink the boyfriend turned violent and he was convicted before Christmas. Compounding the violence, an innocuous sounding...

Why is housing in the UK so unaffordable?

20th April 2015

By Dave Treanor, author of the book ‘Housing policies in Europe’. Buying a home was the best investment anyone could have made in the 1990s and the only one on which they pay no taxes. House prices have risen by far more than the cost of borrowing making homeownership in Britain the most profitable in Europe. It has also made it amongst the least affordable. An investment of £100,000 in the average UK home in 1997 would have increased in value by £222,000 to £322,0...

Opinion: A question of tenant satisfaction

20th April 2015

By Richard Blundell, Housing Partners CEO I read with interest the 24dash.com article from HouseMark chief executive Ross Fraser on tenant satisfaction in social housing. Ross’ article references Housing Partners’ Big Tenant Survey which launched last September, along with some inaccuracies about its findings. I wanted to take the opportunity to put some of this straight. As an organisation, we respect the work that HouseMark does in helping landlords gather information on their te...

'Big names from property world' join Peabody Board

20th April 2015

Peabody says two 'big names from (the) property world' have joined its board to support the London housing association’s growth plans. Peter Vernon, CEO of Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, and Jennie Daly (photo), UK director of planning at Taylor Wimpey, formally joined Peabody as non-executive directors on 1 April. Peabody chief executive Stephen Howlett said: “Both Peter and Jennie bring a wealth of additional experience to Peabody. Their expertise in urban regeneration, planning and inv...

Crisis welcomes SNP calls for review of benefit sanctions

20th April 2015

Homelessness charity Crisis has backed calls in the Scottish National Party election manifesto for a review of benefit sanctions. Matt Downie, director of policy and external affairs at Crisis, said: “We welcome measures outlined by the SNP today to ensure that the welfare safety net protects some of the most vulnerable people in our society. “In particular we support the SNP’s calls for an urgent review of benefit sanctions. Sanctions are cruel and can leave people cold, hun...

New chief executive for Cottsway

20th April 2015

Vivian Rosser has been appointed the new chief executive of Witney-based Cottsway Housing Association, starting in June. Rosser said: “I’m looking forward to helping the business capitalise on its position as a growing landlord serving the West Oxfordshire and the Cotswold districts.” He joins from the affordable housing team at Jones Lang LaSalle. Among former jobs, Rosser was development director for Thames Valley Housing Association and is currently an independent member on the bo...

SNP launches manifesto, backs annual target of 100,000 affordable homes in UK

20th April 2015

Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon has delivered her party’s election manifesto, promising to end austerity and help all voters - not just Scottish ones. Scotland’s First Minister declared "I'm a democrat" and that she accepted last year's bitter referendum result which went against independence. Sturgeon said SNP MPs would be stronger for Scotland but also help progressive politics for all of the United Kingdom. Amongst the commitments, the SNP said it will "back pl...