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Council takes steps to protect PRS tenants from appalling standards

24th October 2014

Islington Council has taken steps to protect private rented sector tenants from appalling conditions by proposing extra landlord licensing. The council's landlord licensing scheme would cover an estimated 3,500 tenants living in homes along the entire length of Holloway Road and Caledonian Road, which surveys have indicated are hotspots for poor management. Earlier this year, after concerns about poorly managed houses and flats along the two streets, council officers surveyed 208 houses in multip...

Housing minister pops in to praise Barnet Homes

24th October 2014

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis has praised the work of Barnet Homes, the ALMO working for Barnet Council. Lewis visited Barnet House in Whetstone on Wednesday, accompanied by National Federation of ALMOs (NFA) managing director Eamon McGoldrick. The minister heard how the borough was pushing ahead with plans to build more council homes and 'affordable rent' houses for local people. McGoldrick said: "Barnet Homes clearly demonstrated to the housing minister how it is providing improved and innovative s...

Housing association in hunt for new chair

24th October 2014

A Bedford-based housing association has begun the recruitment process to appoint a new chair for its board. bpha says it is looking for someone to lead a "professional, experienced and totally committed team of executive and non-executive directors, as they drive bpha forward to improve on how they meet their customers’ needs today and in the years ahead". Kevin Bolt, the 18,000-home provider's CEO, said: “We are working with the consultants at Gatenby Sanderson to identify suitabl...

Catalyst and Network say 'no pre-determined outcome' in talks over future

23rd October 2014

Catalyst and Network housing associations have denied a report that the two g15 groups are in "advanced merger talks" with the aim of creating a 40,000-home giant in London and the south east. In a joint statement given to 24housing by Catalyst’s Rod Cahill and Network’s Helen Evans, the two group chief executives responded to an Inside Housing report earlier today. Cahill and Evans said: "Network Housing Group and Catalyst Housing wish to make it clear that no agreement has been signed ...

Social landlord's passivhaus study finds positive results

23rd October 2014

A social landlord's study of its first passivhaus development has revealed that scheme performs as designed and delivers very low heating bills for tenants. Hastoe Group's investigation has verified that Wimbish Passivhaus meets the 6,000-home provider's objective of delivering low heating bills to reduce the impact of fuel poverty on its tenants - and has the potential to reduce rent arrears. The 14-home development in Essex, which was designed exclusively for local people, was the first rural ...

Edinburgh launches pilot scheme to reduce homelessness

23rd October 2014

The city of Edinburgh has launched a pilot scheme to reduce homelessness. Specialist services will be delivered through a partnership with third sector organisations the Bethany Christian Trust, Edinburgh Cyrenian Trust, Foursquare and CHAI (Community Help and Advice Initiative). The council, providers and service users are working in partnership to "rebalance" housing support services and place more emphasis on prevention, through mentoring, befriending, group work and visits from housing sup...

Top businesses, charities to help households fight rising energy bills

23rd October 2014

Senior business and charity leaders have launched 'The Big Energy Vision', a new long-term campaign to encourage UK households to take control of rising energy bills. Those involved include: Kingfisher, John Lewis, Home Retail Group, National Trust, Citizens Advice, Calor, uSwitch, Energy Saving Trust, TrustMark, Energy UK, UK Green Building Council, Global Action Plan, Willmott Dixon, and Groundwork. It is being coordinated by not-for-profit organisations Forum for the Future and Behaviour Change. ...

Opinion: We need better links between health and housing

23rd October 2014

City West Housing Trust funded a new report by think tank IPPR North into housing provision for older people. Here, Colette McKune, the social landlord’s deputy chief executive, explores some of the issues exposed by the study. We are walking blindfolded off the edge of a cliff when it comes to the current system for housing older and vulnerable people in this country. We simply cannot meet the needs of an ageing population with the homes we have, yet there is a severe lack of leadership ...

HCA opens bidding for £800m of 2015-18 AHP funding

23rd October 2014

The HCA has invited housing providers across England to bid for a share of around £800 million of affordable homes programme (AHP) funding, using the continuous market engagement  (CME) approach. It’s the second phase of bidding under the Homes and Communities Agency’s £1.7 billion AHP, following confirmation in July of £886 million of initial allocations for 2,697 firm schemes that "will deliver 43,821 new affordable homes". The HCA adds that the "£1.7 ...

Will Mayor of London miss 'affordable' housing target?

23rd October 2014

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has been quizzed about whether or not he will hit his target to deliver 50,000 new 'affordable' homes in the capital by March 2015. Questioned by Labour London Assembly Member Tom Copley during yesterday's mayor's question time, Johnson refused to confirm that the target date remained March 2015 - even though his deputy mayor for housing, Richard Blakeway, stated less than a year ago that the target still stood. As of September this year the mayor had only deliver...