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Government sets out plans to give towns and cities stronger powers

29th May 2015

A major step change in decision making across the country begins today (29 May 2015) - with the publication of the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill - moving powers out of Whitehall so towns, cities and counties can set their own course. The publication from the DCLG outlines the move, which will devolve new powers to local authorities whilst underlining the government’s one nation commitment – to bring our country together and ensure hardworking taxpayers across the country...

Moving up the Agenda!

29th May 2015

More people are worried about housing than at any time since 2007, according to this month’s Economist/Ipsos-MORI Issues Index. The number of people citing it as one of the “important issues” facing Britain rose to 16%, the highest in nearly eight years. What is causing this rise? Plotting the public’s concerns against house prices suggests the answer. Housing fears fell in 2008-09, as prices dropped and now as the market has rallied and prices have gone up, people have st...

New housing registrations continue to rise, reports NHBC

29th May 2015

The number of new homes registered across the UK continues to outperform 2014 levels, according to NHBC. For the rolling quarter (February – April), registrations increased by 20% compared to the same period last year (41,307 in 2015; 34,451 in 2014). This follows the strong Q1 growth reported by NHBC earlier this month. The private sector increased by 24% during this period (31,083 in 2015; 24,993 in 2014), with the public sector also up by 8% (10,224 in 2015; 9,458 in 2014). As the leading warranty an...

Nearly 150,000 households added to private rented sector in last 12 months - report

28th May 2015

Over three quarters of all new households created in Great Britain last year were housed in the private rented sector, according to a new report. Nearly 150,000 households were added to the PRS in the year to March, with the sector now making up 18% of all housing stock. The Kent Reliance 'Buy to Let Britain' report also reveals that the private rented sector is expected to grow by 700,000 households to 5.5 million by 2020. Meanwhile, private landlords have seen total annual returns of £111.5...

Radian takes steps to tackle tenancy fraud

28th May 2015

Affordable housing provider, Radian, is launching a campaign to raise awareness and tackle tenancy fraud in their properties. It is estimated that tenancy fraud costs the country £900 million annually. Many use false statements to access social housing, or have moved out of social housing properties and are subletting with little thought for the families currently on council waiting lists. Oona Hickson, Interim Head of Housing at Radian explains: “We have been given new power under the ...

Improved satisfaction levels down to the personal touch

28th May 2015

Futures Housing Group has seen an increase in customer satisfaction and puts it down to the ‘human touch’ from their staff. The Midlands-based housing provider, which has around 9,000 homes in Derbyshire and Northamptonshire said there has been a 9% increase in the number of tenants who said they are satisfied with the services they receive – up from 86% in 2013/14 to 95%. The figures were revealed in the Group’s 2014/15 Performance Report which also showed record numbers o...

London boroughs to lose thousands of council homes in first five years of new right to buy - research

28th May 2015

Around 3,500 council homes would have to be sold in three London boroughs during the first five years of the government’s new right to buy, according to research. Local authorities, including Camden, Haringey, Islington and Enfield, commissioned research ahead of yesterday's Queen's Speech to investigate how much of their 'higher-value' housing stock would be at risk from the policy. Under its plans, the government is seeking to use the money raised from the sale of council properties as th...

London Mayor’s rental standard seen as a flop

28th May 2015

A year after the launch of the Mayor’s flagship London Rental Standard only 14,139 of London’s 300,000 private landlords have signed up. When he launched the scheme in 2012 Boris Johnson said he would have 100,000 landlords signed up by May next year but Labour’s London Assembly Housing Spokesperson, Tom Copley warned that “at this rate it will take over 100 years before the Mayor fulfils his promise.”   The London Rental Standard (LRS), launched on 28th May 2014...

New homes for West Lothian and North Lanarkshire

27th May 2015

Affordable housing developer Lovell is set to design and build 221 new council homes in Scotland with a combined value of £23.61 million. North Lanarkshire Council is set to appoint Lovell to deliver three new developments. Construction work on 51 new cottage flats, houses and bungalows in Cumbernauld and Harthill, is due to start in spring 2016 and expected to be complete in 2017. In West Lothian, work will start in early 2016 on 170 homes, comprising cottage flats, houses and bungalows at...

The Queen's Speech: Sector reacts

27th May 2015

NATIONAL HOUSING FEDERATION Assistant Director Henry Gregg said extending the right to buy to housing association homes “is not a genuine solution to our housing crisis” and will damage the sector. “An extension to the right to buy would mean that housing associations are working to keep pace with replacements rather than building homes for the millions stuck on waiting lists. At a time when we need to be increasing the overall amount of social housing, it is like trying to fil...

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