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Opinion: What does Brexit mean for Governance and HR in Housing?

30th August 2016

Brexit - What does it mean for Governance and HR in Housing? By Zoe Wortley, director of governance and strategy consultancy for EMA Business & Management Consultancy Limited. Whilst the Brexit decision remains a surprise to many and will undoubtedly bring significant long-term change to our political, economic and cultural landscape, a month on since the vote and some of the implications for housing governance and HR are already becoming a little clearer. So what are the main HR and governa...

London’s property guardians being ‘exploited’

30th August 2016

Over 200 empty public buildings are lived in by ‘property guardians’. Figures from borough councils, obtained by Green Party housing spokesperson and candidate for mayor of Hackney, Samir Jeraj, show that across London, over 1,000 people are being charged to live in precarious conditions in empty public buildings owned by councils. In contrast, the mayor of London has told Green assembly member, Sian Berry, that City Hall avoids these arrangements, with no GLA Group empty properties...

Report pitches Pay to Stay rent rise average at £1,000 a year

29th August 2016

New research reveals some 70,000 social housing tenants face £1,000 a year average rent rises under Pay to Stay. Now, the Local Government Association (LGA) is urging new ministers to rethink the policy which will require councils to charge some of their tenants higher rents from April next year. The LGA has released research revealing that more than 70,000 social housing tenants could face rent rise bills of an average £1,000 a year under government plans to increase rents for those d...

Award for pioneering housing activist

26th August 2016

Anna Stuart founded one of Glasgow's first housing co-operatives. Now she's the city's first female campaigner of the year. Anna, 75, started the Castlemilk East Housing Co-operative in 1984. Thirty-two years later she has received the Mary Barbour Award named after the 1915 rents campaigner Mary Barbour who fought for a better deal for people in their communities. The award was launched earlier this year by Parkhead Housing Association, in partnership with the Wheatley Group, to recognise th...

Homelessness Reduction Bill: “Worrying trends” seen in levels of service and support.

26th August 2016

The Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee has launched a pre-legislative inquiry into the Homelessness Reduction Bill - with an emphasis on “worrying trends” seen in levels of service and support. Backed by all members of the committee, the bill  - published by Bob Blackman MP - follows publication of the Committee’s report on Homelessness and received its first reading in June. The Committee is holding its inquiry ahead of the second reading scheduled for  Octobe...

New build homes on the up

25th August 2016

The number of newly built homes has increased 6% in the past year. The latest house building data shows 139,030 new homes were completed in the year to June and have continued to build gradually over the last two years. More than 144,280 homes were started in the year to June 2016. The figures also show there are more first-time buyers than at any time since 2007, with 72,800 in England in the second quarter of 2016. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, said:...

Opinion: sub-letting, fraud, and the law

25th August 2016

By Jane Plant, Associate & Solicitor–Advocate at Weightmans LLP. A student studying Law at the University of West of England, Bristol has been convicted of Fraud and sentenced to 130 hours community sentence for sub-letting her Council flat. Kursheema Nurse was granted a secure tenant by Brent Housing Partnership (an arms length management organisation) since August 2010 of a 1 bedroomed flat in Stonebridge.   However, since June 2010 she was working in Bristol which is 120 mil...

Council calls for residents' views on new homes

25th August 2016

Manchester City Council is looking for views on the design and standards of new houses. The council, which is developing its own design and quality standard for new houses in the city, wants to know what good housing means to residents. A sounding board of experts, a multi-discipline team of architects and housing professionals – chaired by once president of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Stephen Hodder -  was brought together to develop the draft standards guide, providi...

Canal regeneration unlocks land for 500 homes

25th August 2016

Up to 500 homes can now be built on land to the north of Glasgow city centre after a canal regeneration scheme was agreed. Glasgow City Council’s Executive Committee has approved grant agreements with partner organisations to regenerate areas and communities along both sides of the Forth and Clyde canal.
 These grant agreements – with Scottish Canals and BIGG Regeneration – will help deliver funding worth over £11m for the next stages of a surface water management progra...

Manchester wins lottery fund

25th August 2016

Five housing providers across Greater Manchester have been awarded lottery funding to help improve health and unemployment. The £9.7m grant will be allocated over the next three years and will help local people improve their skills and health to help them back into employment and training. The money from the Big Lottery Fund and European Social Fund’s Building Better Opportunities project has been awarded to Manchester Athena’s Motiv8 programme which will be delivered by five housi...