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Manchester development guru returns to HCA

10th February 2016

Having stoked up a “northern powerhouse” Deborah McLaughlin is headed back to the HCA. McLaughlin has completing her 12-month secondment to Manchester Place, helping shape the brand and engaging with the international investment market to present the city as the place to invest in residential growth.  Alongside this McLaughlin helped establish the Greater Manchester Investment Fund - into which Manchester Place has fed over £100 million of exciting development schemes, which h...

David Cameron vs Jeremy Corbyn on housing at PMQs

10th February 2016

Once again housing was top of the bill in Prime Minister's Questions. All the talking points from supported housing to homes being fit for human habitation were debated.  Here is the exchange in full.  DC: One of the most difficult things for young people is to get that deposit together for their first flat or their first house and that is where these Help to Buy ISAs, where we match some of the money they put in, can make such a difference. And it is right to know that quarter of a mil...

Reaction to CLG committee recommendations

10th February 2016

Jenny Osbourne, TPAS chief executive, says the government should ensure secure rented homes are available for years to come: “Many social tenants are worried that policies in the housing and planning bill will reduce the number of social homes available in future, at a time when need for such properties remains high. “It is helpful to have a high profile committee echo the views of tenants, and we call on government to rethink its approach. “It is essential that policy makers an...

Central government ‘should fund HA Right to Buy’ say Committee

10th February 2016

Public policy should usually be funded by central government, rather than through a levy on local authorities, according to Communities and Local Government Committee. The committee also finds the robustness of the funding model for RTB discounts extremely questionable, calling on the government to set out the evidence for the proposals. Clive Betts MP, chair of the committee, said: "The fundamental success of this policy will depends not just on whether more tenants come to own their home but on...

Caroline Pidgeon pledges 50,000 low rent council homes

9th February 2016

Caroline Pidgeon has promised an ‘Olympic effort” on housing when she becomes Mayor of London. Her plans would aim to deliver over 50,000 new low rent ‘council’ homes over the next four years, built by a new construction company operating out of City Hall. Speaking in an opposition day debate on housing, she said she wants to see another 150,000 homes built throughout the capital which would be a mixture of market sale properties, private rental homes and interm...

Welsh council to build 1,000 rural affordable homes

9th February 2016

A Welsh council has confirmed plans to build 1,000 'affordable' homes over the next five years. Carmarthenshire Council's £60m plans include a new-building programme, extra investment in four specified "action areas" and more properties under its control. Executive board member for housing Linda Evans said: "This is a huge challenge, but one we're prepared to meet." The plan gets a first formal airing at a meeting of the council’s scrutiny committee on Friday. It will then need t...

Opinion: Reflections on good governance

9th February 2016

By Tom Murtha. A recent headline in the Guardian should be a timely reminder to all housing association non-executives. It read: “MPs blame “negligent” trustees for Kids Company collapse.” The article went on to describe how the charity had failed because “negligent” trustees were held in the sway of an “unaccountable and dominant” chief executive. The report might or might not be accurate but it should be read by all in social housing who believ...

Heseltine launches panel of experts to kick-start estates regeneration

9th February 2016

The panel of experts looking at the government’s estates regeneration programme met for the first time today. New tenant rights and the layout of the estates are two of the priorities. It is hoped the layouts can be used to deliver higher quality homes that people can buy and rent. The experts will also ensure that there are strong protections in place for existing residents so they will always be given the right to return to their communities. The 17-strong group, co-chaired by Lord Hese...

Opinion: Damp patches in resident involvement

9th February 2016

Council house tenant, full time carer, housing blogger, clicktivist, slacktivist and impromptu public speaker Rob Gershon has just completed his first month doing an actual job with a title in 'UK housing'. Here Rob shares some of the good, the bad, and the aesthetically challenged things that have nothing to do with his job but have popped up anyway. My first month, in any formal sense, of resident involvement has been a mixed one. Settling in to the routine work of HQN's Residents' Network has bee...

LGA slams Pay to Stay ahead of Lords Committee

8th February 2016

Faced with figures that show some 60,000 households forced to move through Pay to Stay, the Local Government Association (LGA) has re-affirmed its call for the scheme to be as voluntary for councils as it will be for housing associations. That call was made in the LGA’s initial response to Pay to Stay in November last year. With the policy due before the Lords this week, the LGA is ramping up its case. The government plans to make households with a combined income greater than £30,...