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Women in Housing Awards - shortlists revealed

2nd September 2014

The second annual Women in Housing awards is set to celebrate the achievements of women from all over the country who have made a significant impact in their communities and in the work place.  Across 11 categories, the awards recognise both individual and team initiatives that have had made a real difference to people’s lives and wider communities. 2014’s awards which feature musician, actress and business woman Lulu as a guest speaker, while, for the second year running, Olympic...

160-flat development to contain no affordable housing but should 'attract investors'

2nd September 2014

A 160-flat development in the London borough of Hounslow will not include any affordable homes or units for social rent. Developer Galliard Homes has paid £15 million for The Balfour Building on Lampton Road in the town centre, formerly offices for Alitalia and Sri Lankan Airlines, and hopes to attract investors to the flats it intends to build. Galliard plans to convert the building into 160 studio, one and two-bed apartments and penthouses, complete with covered parking facilities. However,...

New 'bedroom tax homes' built

2nd September 2014

Work has begun on 18 new 'affordable' homes in Lancaster that are intended to boost the supply of properties for people hit by the bedroom tax. The Guinness Partnership's £1.3 million development in the Scale Hall area will deliver six two-bed houses and 12 one-bed flats arranged as semi-detached pairs. The new builds will be insulated well above current buildings regulations and will also adhere to Secure by Design principles which focus on safety and security, according to developer Mel...

Right to buy sales surge by 78%

2nd September 2014

The amount of homes owned by private registered social housing providers (PRPs) sold off under the various forms of the right to buy (RTB) scheme shot up by 78% over 2013/14, new statistics have revealed. The Homes and Communities Agency's (HCA) latest Statistical Data Return (SDR) shows that a total of 4,835 PRP homes have been sold off since 2012/13 under RTB, preserved right to buy and right to acquire. The HCA partly credits the surge in sales with the increased discounts offered by the governmen...

Majority of Britain's social housing tenants don't feel loved by landlord

2nd September 2014

The mass majority of Britain's social housing tenants don't feel that their landlord cares about them or their families, a study has revealed. The Big Tenant Survey 2014, the largest ever investigation into the views and opinions of social housing tenants, quizzed 61,000 residents and found that only 22% felt their landlord cared about them, while less than a third believed their landlord listened to their concerns. Respondents also felt they needed better communication lines with their landlords,...

Boris's island airport dreams sunk, as Labour claims '£millions lost'

2nd September 2014

London Mayor Boris Johnson's dream of building a new airport in the Thames Estuary is over, after a commission rejected the plan. And the mayor has been slammed by Labour for "wasting more than £5 million of taxpayers' money" on a "pie-in-the sky vanity project". However, despite the Davies Commission's rejection of the scheme on the grounds of its costs and environmental impact, Johnson has insisted his vision is not dead. The mayor, who will stand as a Conservative party candidate in next...

Opinion: Questions, questions

2nd September 2014

By David Orr, chief executive, National Housing Federation Do you think there should be a comprehensive re-evaluation of council tax bands and charges? Would you like to see a land tax charged for land with planning consent that is not built out? Or perhaps you think that empty ‘investment’ apartments in high value areas should be taxed as though they were fully occupied at market rents, with money collected used to subsidise new affordable homes. You may believe we are in such a housing cri...

Opinion: Why the bedroom tax is not political

2nd September 2014

By Rob Gershon, a housing association tenant known in the Twittersphere as @Simplicitly, takes a deeper look at the government’s under-occupancy policy. Despite all the evidence about how badly the bedroom tax is failing tenants and failing to meet any of its own policy objectives, the government seems intent on proceeding with it.  I've always believed that politics is a personal thing - that a person's vote is private and that the strength of some conviction some people feel about ...

UK public would back new era of social housing construction

2nd September 2014

Politicians should not shy away from campaigning for a new era of social housing construction after a new survey showed the majority of the public would back it. Research from the Fabian Society shows that an overwhelming 93% of the population feels that the UK housing system is not functioning correctly with more than half of those questioned (57%) saying they would support more social housing being built. A further 22% feel indifferent with only 15% opposing more building. Crucially three quarters (...

Opinion: Please don't view Stockton through just the 'Benefits Street' camera lens

1st September 2014

By Angela Lockwood, chief executive of Stockton-on-Tees based North Star Housing Group Did you know that Stockton-on-Tees claims to have the widest high street in England? Or that it possesses the oldest railway station structure in the world? Did you know that the world’s first safety match was invented in Stockton-on-Tees by local chemist John Walker? His first sale of the product was made on April 7 1827 – some may consider him foolish for refusing to patent it. Did you know &ldqu...