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Home Group offers smart meters to 4,000 London residents

19th September 2014

Up to 4,000 Home Group residents in London can get a free smart meter if they agree to switch to Utilita Energy. The deal will allow residents to monitor and reduce their electricity and gas usage. Although the amount saved will vary, similar projects with social housing providers have enabled residents to save up to £40 each on annual bills. The London scheme follows successful projects between Utilita and Home Group in the northeast and northwest where over 2,000 residents were provided wi...

New chair announced for housing giant Sanctuary

19th September 2014

Jonathan Lander is the new group chair of housing giant Sanctuary. A senior partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) until his retirement in 2008, Lander currently chairs Sanctuary’s nominations and succession planning committees, and also sits on the group audit committee. Lander, who is pictured, left, with group chief executive David Bennett, has been a member of Sanctuary’s group board since September 2010. Taking over this week, he succeeds Nick Baldwin who is stepping down...

Boost for social landlords as DWP consults on missing piece of universal credit jigsaw

19th September 2014

The Department for Work and Pensions today launched a consultation on one of the key missing pieces of the universal credit jigsaw. Following close dialogue with the social housing sector, the DWP is now seeking to use powers designated to the Secretary of State Iain Duncan Smith to share details of new UC claimants with housing providers. Up to this point, social landlords were reliant on being formed by their tenants of any switch to the benefits system, a situation that made it difficult to ...

Friday Feud: The NHF conference and the housing crisis

19th September 2014

Insipid (sic) 24housing reporter Max Salsbury (barely) (a)live from the National Housing Conference in Birmingham. Yesterday it was revealed that #nhf14 was the fifth most popular trending thing on the Twitter system's UK output hub. Whether or not the 'data' that floods the social network nexus is of any actual value is yet to be properly established, but assuming that it is some sort of indicator of opinion and feeling amongst the population, it seems that housing may actually matter to quite...

Shropshire housing association gets set for new base

19th September 2014

It's 3-into-1 in Shropshire as a housing association, council and police share a landmark office. Meres & Mosses Housing Association has a new base of operations in picturesque Wem from Monday when Edinburgh House officially re-opens. The site was bought last year from Shropshire Council by Shropshire Housing Group, the parent company of Meres & Mosses. Following an extensive re-fit, it will also be the base in town for Shropshire Council and West Mercia Police. Meres & Mosses tenants wi...

Boris Johnson accused of reneging on Olympic community affordable housing pledge

19th September 2014

London mayor Boris Johnson has been accused of reneging on a manifesto pledge after plans for a community land trust (CLT) at the Olympic Park were scrapped. The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), which the mayor chairs, ruled in April that plans to establish a CLT for affordable homes at Chobham Manor on the Olympic Park site should be put on hold.  The LLDC cited the risk that the long-term affordability of properties on Chobham Manor could not be guaranteed. London Assembly L...

Emma Reynolds: Death of 'cruel and iniquitous' bedroom tax is guaranteed under Labour

19th September 2014

Shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds has given her "categorical assurance" that the controversial bedroom tax will be "scrapped in its entirety" under a future Labour government, 24housing's Max Salsbury writes. Speaking at the National Housing Federation's conference in Birmingham this morning to bleary-eyed sector luminaries, the MP slammed the "cruel and iniquitous" under-occupancy policy as the "worst thing the coalition government has done". After being asked if Labour would completely scrap the ...

Kier Group revenues rise £1 billion in strong financial year

19th September 2014

Revenues at construction and services giant Kier Group plc, which works with housing associations and local authorities across the UK, have shot up by more than a billion pounds. For the year ended 30 June 2014, Kier delivered revenue of £3bn, up 51% from £2bn in the previous year,which it attributed to "nearly a full year inclusion of the May Gurney acquisition". Underlying operating profit is also up, increasing by 59% to £88m. The business, which invests in housing developm...

Anchor chooses Sarah Jones as its new director of finance

19th September 2014

Anchor has appointed Sarah Jones as its director of finance. Jones took up the position this week at the not-for-profit provider of housing and care to older people. She joined from office supplies distributors Spicers Group, where she was chief financial officer, and also worked in senior roles at Carpetright, HMV and The Burton Group/Arcadia Group. Anchor chief executive Jane Ashcroft said: "Sarah brings a wealth of experience at a time when we are investing in our existing housing and care and dev...

Minister supports 'Social Saturday' in visit to Colne project

19th September 2014

A government minister popped by a church market café in Colchester as part of ‘Social Saturday’ backed by Colne housing association. Brooks Newmark MP, the minister for civil society, marked the new national campaign to celebrate social enterprises by visiting representatives from Essex-based Colne and Go4 Enterprises (CIC), recently chosen by RBS as the 12th best performing social enterprise in the country. The minister visited Go4’s flagship Trinity Church market caf&eacut...