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Opinion: New housing access standards could be largely ignored

27th March 2015

By Paul Gamble, Chief Executive, Habinteg Amongst a raft of planning measures announced as Parliament breaks for the election was the long awaited ministerial announcement on new housing standards for England. These new standards, announced on 25 March, and the policy that surrounds them will govern the design and supply of accessible and adaptable homes from now on. While it’s disappointing that such a major announcement on the future of the nation’s housing has been published so qui...

Food Bank Royal of the Week!

27th March 2015

By Max Salsbury, 24dash reporter Remember those ‘Food Bank MP of the Week’ things I used to do? They were fun, weren’t they? However, either coalition MPs got wise to my ribbing of their agonisingly hypocritical, tokenistic visits or, more likely, got bored. Either way, the formerly moribund feature has suddenly burst back into life – with a truly special poor person’s sustenance centre appointment: none other than Madame Sir Princess Anne. The high ranking Windsor...

Joy Division legend unveils Ian Curtis plaque on new housing association development

27th March 2015

A housing association has paid tribute to a North West music icon as part of its new development in Macclesfield. Peaks & Plains Housing Trust invited New Order and Joy Division drummer Stephen Morris to unveil a plaque dedicated to Ian Curtis at the opening of new apartments in the town's Old Labour Exchange, where the legendary singer worked in the 1970s as an assistant disablement resettlement officer, helping disabled people access work and benefits. Curtis walked to work from his home on...

Opinion: WDH is over five million minutes old!

27th March 2015

By Kevin Dodd, chief executive, Wakefield & District Housing WDH has been in existence for over five million minutes. We’ve spent over one billion pounds in our local economy, and we’ve undertaken one million repairs – we’ve also just taken on our 100th apprentice.  Who would have thought this at the start of our journey ten years ago. Reflecting on the last decade our start to life as a housing association was a massive learning curve, but we’ve grow...

Opinion: An analysis of the Affordable Homes Programme

27th March 2015

By Nigel Wilson, Chairman of JV North and chief executive of Wythenshawe Community Housing Group Four years ago when the Affordable Homes Programme was introduced, we unquestionably entered a new era of development. In essence, the fundamental points are, to some degree, what most landlords strive for. Meeting local needs and priorities, addressing demographic challenges, countering stock discrepancies and ensuring value for money are elements at the heart of all good housing business plans regar...

Opinion: If housing wants to make an impact, do it locally

27th March 2015

By Peter Brown, Chief Executive, Herefordshire Housing Housing fails to get up the agenda not just at this general election, but at nearly every general election. But it does not have to be so. A long time ago, a new chair of the then Housing Corporation addressing the NHF conference said, “I’ve never known a sector that wants to confer so much.” The audience tittered uncomfortably. He was right and the futility of endlessly telling each other how important we are, struck me. ...

Liverpool to extend Homes for a Pound scheme - and include shops

26th March 2015

Liverpool is to extend its successful 'Homes for a Pound' scheme to a further 150 properties and include shops for the first time. A further 150 empty properties are set to be brought back into use in a major expansion of the scheme, the city council announced today. It follows the success of a pilot initiative, involving properties around Granby Four Streets and Arnside Road, which are being brought back into use by people who live or work in Liverpool that have bought them for £1 on cond...

Housing association rescues famous landmark

26th March 2015

A housing association has stepped into save a famous landmark. The grade II listed Friarage Manor House has stood on Hartlepool's Headland for centuries but has become almost derelict since falling out of use in the 1980s. Now Housing Hartlepool is spearheading a £4.65 million regeneration project to rescue the Friarage Manor House with support from Hartlepool Council. The association, part of the Thirteen Group, is to convert the building into four apartments, with another 34 new-build ho...

Shock, anger and dismay at 'shameful' rise in homelessness

26th March 2015

The number of children living in temporary accommodation has risen by nearly 10,000 in the last 12 months, according to new figures published today. Homelessness statistics published by the Department for Communities and Local Government show there are now 90,450 homeless children in temporary accommodation in England, the highest number since March 2009 and nearly 10,000 more than at the same time last year. National Housing Federation chief executive David Orr said the figures were "unacceptab...

Private landlords demand council delays licensing scheme

26th March 2015

A private landlords group is demanding that Liverpool City Council postpones the launch of a city-wide licensing scheme. According to the National Landlords Association (NLA), the scheme's current application process - which is due to go live on 1 April - will put every landlord in Liverpool in breach of the law. The NLA also claims that the current online application process provided by the council does not meet legal requirements to allow landlords to comply with the new scheme, which would make...