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500 homes for former council HQ

22nd July 2016

The former town centre HQ of a London council will be transformed into 500 new homes for sale or rent and aimed at middle-income workers. Croydon Council has appointed HUB as the developer of the site known as Taberner House. HUB - Developer of the Year at Property Week’s RESI Awards in May - now has a pipeline of more than 1,700 homes across the capital. With its funding partner Bridges Ventures, a social impact investor, HUB will create around 500 homes at Taberner House and revive an...

Government approves new audit body for local authorities

22nd July 2016

Public Sector Audit Appointments Ltd (PSAA) has a government go-ahead to make future audit appointments on behalf of principal local authorities in England. The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) approved PSAA’s bid to be the body behind independent appointments - the first of which are expected for the financial year 2018/19. The Local Government Association (LGA) successfully lobbied for the Local Audit & Accountability Act 2014 to include provision for the establishme...

Landlord fined over unsafe log burner

22nd July 2016

An unsafe log burner has cost a landlord over £1,000. South Gloucestershire Council saw David Jempson fined £600 for breaching building regulation rules. The 55-year-old admitted six related charges and was also ordered to pay £500 in costs. North Avon Magistrates heard how Jempsons tenants had reported the installation as unsafe. A subsequent investigation found six breaches of building regulations including no carbon dioxide detector, insufficient air supply and an unsafe flue ...

Ealing strengthens HMO licensing

22nd July 2016

One of London’s biggest boroughs has backed two new licensing schemes to improve standards across its private rented sector. The schemes make it a legal requirement for landlords to obtain a licence to operate any HMO anywhere in Ealing or to let a home in five selected wards of the borough.  Ealing is one of the largest boroughs in London with more than 137,000 residential properties. Of these, around 36,000 are rented from private landlords. Census figures for 2011 showed that priv...

Apprenticeships: If you're old enough - you're good enough

22nd July 2016

Apprenticeships are traditionally presented as an opportunity for youngsters to get a foot on the career ladder. But "big kid at heart" Lawrence Bedeau begs to differ. Lawrence is a newly appointed Employment and Volunteering Officer with Viridian Housing. He joined Viridian’s apprentice scheme last year aged 34 - the oldest in the eight-strong intake by 17 years.  Statistics show that in 2014/15 43% of all new apprentices in England were over the age of 25. There may be no govern...

HA will use surplus to build 'thousands' of new homes

22nd July 2016

A London HA has achieved a record surplus of £125m in the same year as increasing housing supply in London by 1,170 homes – bringing the total number of homes owned or managed to nearly 32,000. Notting Hill Housing Group will that £125m - as reported in its annual result - to continue creating thousands more homes across London. The results show the annual surplus increased by more than £10m compared with £115m (restated*) in the previous year. Turnover has increased fr...

Delay likely on key Housing Act regulations

22nd July 2016

Publication of the Higher Value and Pay to Stay Regulations is likely to be delayed. The announcement was made by DLCG at Associated of Retained Council Housing (ARCH) conference this week. The London event had been timed in the expectation the Regulations, Determinations and Guidance on the RTB Levy, Sale of higher value voids, Pay to Stay and phasing out of lifetime tenancies would have been published following granting of Royal Assent to the Housing and Planning Bill on 12 May 2016.  DCLG ...

Calls for more homes for rent following Brexit

22nd July 2016

New housing minister Gavin Barwell is being urged to support the building of more new homes to rent by relaxing the rules around public funding in the sector. The appeal has been launched in response to the Centre for Economic and Business Research report commissioned by the National Housing Federation, which predicts that the UK economy could contract by £145 million in the next 10 years if the rate of growth in new housing completions falls at the same rate as it did in 2008. Spokesmen for...

24housing awards shortlist revealed

22nd July 2016

We are delighted to reveal the shortlisted entries for the 24housing awards. With an overwhelming number of entries, we found it harder than ever before to whittle them down. Well done to all for making it this far! As we have had a record number of entries, we have also got a record number of shortlisted names, making the judging all the more difficult. The awards ceremony will be held on the 6th October at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry and hosted by Mark Dolan. The judges for the awards will be announced i...

Opinion: Switching focus to affordable homes

22nd July 2016

By Terrie Alafat, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing. While the long-term impact of Brexit remains unclear, a number of reports this week add to a growing body of data pointing to a weakening of the housing market and a slowdown in construction. Findings from a new Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) analysis show that a slow in housebuilding could be on the horizon and that a slump similar to that during the 2008 recession could have a devastating effect – po...