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Opinion: Spurs-centric vision for Tottenham is already damaging residents

19th December 2014

Martin Ball, Tottenham Hale resident and community campaigner, has strong words for Haringey Council and non-local Tottenham Hotspur fans following the green light for White Hart Lane and Love Lane regeneration plans. Haringey Council peddles hard to dress-up their top-down regeneration agenda as being good medicine for both the Love Lane estate and Tottenham, but the plans will result in suffering for already socially disadvantaged people. The Cabinet agreement for the Love Lane proposals is correctly recognised as a green light for thousands of homes to be demolished and hundreds of shops to be bulldozered. Shops that pe...

New Era estate sold to Dolphin Square Foundation

19th December 2014

The troubled New Era estate is to be taken over by affordable housing provider Dolphin Square Foundation (DSF). The estate in the Hoxton area of Hackney has been at the centre of a media storm since the summer, when its American owners, Westbrook Holdings, announced plans to hugely increase tenants' rents. The affair was too much for Britain's richest MP, Tory Richard Benyon, whose firm part-owned the estate, and he sold his stake. However, following the increasingly negative publicity and public su...

UK house prices to rise (again) in 2015

19th December 2014

UK house prices are set to rise yet again in 2015 - by 3% according to RICS' latest forecast. The increase will be driven by the chancellor's recent changes to stamp duty, continuing demand and a lack of supply of property, RICS says.  The organisation expects all parts of the country to see modest price rises during the year, at an average of 3%, while the South West, Wales and London will experience the lowest rises, with prices increasing by 2% and 0% respectively. Though the growth in rental de...

Tribunal upholds ruling against £123 million stamp duty avoidance scheme

19th December 2014

A tribunal has upheld a legal ruling against a stamp duty avoidance scheme that has been protecting up to £123 million in unpaid tax. Scheme user Project Blue Ltd had appealed against an earlier First Tier Tribunal decision relating to its purchase of the Chelsea Barracks in London. The appeal has now been rejected by the Upper Tribunal. The stamp duty sub-sale alternative finance scheme was used in an attempt to eliminate all of the stamp duty due on the purchase of the barracks. The U...

Major Tottenham White Hart Lane redevelopment plans approved

19th December 2014

Plans to transform Tottenham with thousands of new homes, open space and leisure facilities have been agreed - but A design masterplan framework for the High Road West area, setting out expansive public spaces, 1,200 homes, and revamped transport links, was agreed by Haringey Council’s cabinet this week. In consultation on the proposals, the council says nearly 85% of residents living on the Love Lane Estate – and 69% of everyone who responded – backed plans for modern homes wit...

Housing group finishes year on new build high

19th December 2014

Housing group mhs homes is ending the year on a high with over 400 homes currently being built on site - the highest number in its 25-year history. The Medway-based group says the achievement marks a key point in its development programme with 415 homes on site in total, including over 250 in Maidstone as part of its expansion into surrounding areas. mhs' first Maidstone scheme will be completed in autumn 2015, on the site of the former Maidstone Borough Council offices in Tonbridge Road. Known as W...

Opinion: A ‘Tinder’ for social housing tenants?

19th December 2014

This week, social landlord Viridian Housing won the Housing Open Data Challenge for its ‘MoveMaker’ app – a piece of software that allows tenants  to swipe through a list of properties available to swap and connects them with home matches. Here Ed Wallace, Viridian’s, research & innovation manager, talks about the innovative programme…  Think about dating and a situation we all recognise, the first encounter. It is uncomfortable and embarrassing, and if you l...

England’s care leavers ‘set up to fail’

19th December 2014

Young people leaving the care system in England are effectively set up to fail when living independently in local authority accommodation, new research has revealed. Following the announcement of further cuts to the budgets of English local authorities, charity Barnardo's is calling on children’s services and housing departments to recognise the importance of ‘sharing budgets’ for care leavers as they support their transition into adulthood. Barnardo’s report – ‘T...

Social housing providers warned full impact of welfare reform yet to come

19th December 2014

The social housing sector is yet to feel the full impact of the Tory-led coalition's welfare reforms, a provider of assurance and advisory services has warned. Baker Tilly's benchmarking survey of 70 housing providers found that the average level of rent arrears during 2013/14 was 3.29%, slightly down on the 3.90% anticipated in the same survey last year - but providers are predicting that rates will rise to 4.14% in 2015/16 once the wider roll-out of the government's flagship benefit reform un...

Government programme helping only a minority of disabled people, says committee

19th December 2014

The government’s Access to Work (AtW) programme, which is designed to provide disabled people with practical support to stay in employment, is helping only a minority of the people it could benefit, according to the Work and Pensions Select Committee. The committee has concluded that AtW is an important element of specialist employment support - but has found that Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) staff are failing to understand the needs of some disabled people. One example the committee...