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Council urges MPs to take action against 'revenge evictions'

21st November 2014

Camden Council is calling on MPs to stop landlords from evicting renters unfairly by voting for the Tenancies (Reform) Bill next week. The Bill has come about in response to the more than 200,000 renters who were evicted or served notice in the last year after reporting poor property conditions to their landlord. If passed, the Bill will prevent landlords from serving an eviction notice on their tenants for six months if councils find their property’s living conditions need improving. The ...

Opinion: Do We Think or Do We Know?

21st November 2014

By Adam Thompson, managing director, Oneserve  How often do you say “I think that xyz….” or “I believe blah blah to be the case?”  What do you mean when you say that? Are you giving your opinion or stating a fact? What evidence are you basing this on? It’s all too easy to make subjective statements or assume a small proportion of experience is representative. In business this can be hazardous - especially when making important decisions.  So, wh...

Opinion: Renting is also an issue of race

21st November 2014

By Samir Jeraj, policy and practice officer, Race Equality Foundation Fifty years ago, if you had walked around the streets of London looking for digs you’d have seen signs on flats to rent saying ‘No Blacks, No Irish’. Despite continued cases of direct discrimination, racial discrimination in housing is generally now much more complex, nuanced and subtle. Private renting has grown fast. In the 2011 Census, private renters outnumbered social tenants for the first time in decades. ...

Racist thug banned from housing estate

21st November 2014

A racist thug involved in a series of vicious attacks against Asian men has been banned from a north Manchester housing estate. Fidane Dehaney has been given an ASBO excluding him from the Dam Head estate in Charlestown after social landlord Northwards Housing took action. The 18-year-old has also been banned from associating with fellow gang members. In September Dehaney and a gang of youths were involved in a violent assault on Haddington Drive, when they shouted abuse at the victim, using of...

Council to fill housing void left by right to buy sales

21st November 2014

A council that has lost nearly 200 of its homes to the controversial right to buy (RTB) policy in the last two years has announced plans for a large housebuilding programme to fill the void. Since 2012, when the Tory-led coalition massively increased the discounts available for tenants that want to buy their social homes, Stevenage Borough council has seen 185 of its properties lost to RTB sales. Reacting to the loss the council this week laid out plans to build 1,900 new homes, around 550 of th...

Editor's opinion: The future of housing associations

21st November 2014

By Jon Land, 24housing Editor Much as I hate to admit it, the Policy Exchange report on 'Freeing Housing Associations' could well be a game changer for the future of housing associations. A think tank that has the ear of government and is generally renowned for putting the boot into social housing has articulated what many of the bigger housing groups have been secretly coveting for some time: to 'opt-out' of grant funding, free themselves from the strings attached, build the homes they want to buil...

Almost entire country clueless about government's rental redress schemes

21st November 2014

Only 0.5% of us are aware of the three redress schemes the government brought in last month to protect the UK's 3.9 million renters. A survey by sales and lettings firm KIS found that 99.5% of people hadn't heard of the letting agent redress schemes, which are designed to hold lettings agents who give tenants and leaseholders a poor deal to account. Since the start of October, letting agents have been required to sign up to one of the three government-approved schemes designed to give renters ...

UK's top 20 cities register house price growth of 5% or more

21st November 2014

The UK's top 20 cities are all registering annual house price growth of 5% or more for the first time in a decade, research showed today. The three cities with the highest house price growth year-on-year are London (17.3%), Bristol (13.2%) and Cambridge (12.2%) although momentum in these markets is slowing with growth in the last quarter almost half that seen in the spring, according to Hometrack's Uk Cities House Price Index. The growth rate of more than 5% is over three-times the current grow...

Charity calls for councils to act as more under 25s become homeless

20th November 2014

Homeless Link wants more action to help the under 25s after disturbing results from its survey of more than 200 charity and council homeless services. Homeless Link is the national membership charity for organisations working directly with people who become homeless in England. Its results showed that: 52% of those seeking help with homelessness are under 25; councils are preventing homelessness amongst young people in just 19% of cases; half of those living in homelessness services are under 25,...

Opinion: Fabulous at 40

20th November 2014

In 2014 Black Country Housing Group (BCHG) is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Chief executive Amanda Tomlinson charts its history and the organisation’s future as a social business investing in people and communities across the Black Country and Birmingham. Cast your minds back for a moment to 1974: ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest with Waterloo, setting them on the path to fame and fortune (more on ABBA later). Edward Heath lost the general election to Harold Wilson, setting the Tories...