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Betsy in Brizzle: Day 12 and 13 of the #HomesforBritain bus tour

5th March 2015

By Faye Galvin, communications manager, Merlin Housing Society Bristol. Famous for Banksy, Brunel’s suspension bridge, and now Betsy the Homes for Britain bus. She brought her message to a cold city centre on Tuesday, where staff from Merlin, Knightstone, Curo, and United Communities joined forces to collect nearly 700 signatures from passers by.  Betsy drove proudly into the middle of pedestrianised Broadmead where we set up marquee, bus stop, pull up banners, and balloons ready to s...

Eddie Izzard attacks housing association’s ‘social cleansing’

5th March 2015

Comedian Eddie Izzard has attacked housing association Affinity Sutton’s part in what he has called the “moneyocracy” that is “dividing society”. The 53-year-old confronted the housing provider’s spokesperson, Lisa Louis, over plans to redevelop 144 homes affordable rent homes on the William Sutton Estate in Chelsea into 100 luxury apartments. Mr Izzard told Ms Louis: “Just on the vibe everything you are saying is wrong. All your responses are wrong. You’re ...

Because you're special: Lovable landlords dropping asking price

5th March 2015

More tenants are paying less than the advertised rent for private rented homes, the National Landlords Association says. According to the NLA data, 16% of private rented homes are let to tenants at below advertised rents, and 8% above the asking price. Just over three quarters (76 per cent) of private rented homes are let to tenants at the advertised rent. “The difference means that tenants in the UK are benefitting from a net proportion of 8% – or an estimated 320,000 – homes le...

Rugby star opens AmicusHorizon extra care scheme

5th March 2015

AmicusHorizon has announced the official opening of its new extra care scheme, Regis Gate. Paralympian and former England wheelchair rugby captain Steve Brown did the honours. The homes for older residents in Milton Regis were completed at the end of 2014, when the first residents started to move in. Brown spoke of the importance of creating homes that were suitable for people of all abilities. Last week’s ceremony was attended by residents of Regis Gate, representatives from AmicusHorizon, Swa...

Benefits Street 2: All you need to know

5th March 2015

By Max Salsbury, 24dash reporter The controversial Benefits Street is to return - and it has a snappy title: Benefits Street 2. Defending Channel 4’s ratings spinner at the National Housing Federation’s Communication and Marketing conference this morning, Kieran Smith, creative director at Love Productions, the company that made the show, said that he believed it was "sympathetic". With the cream of the social housing sector before him, Mr Smith delivered a slightly wobbly but on the whole cohe...

One hundred and eighty! London’s g15 group could double 93,000 building target

5th March 2015

The g15 group of London’s largest housing associations says it will build 93,000 new homes in the capital and the south by 2025 but could double this to around 180,000 with additional support from the government and mayor of London. The associations, which currently build around a quarter of London’s new homes, plan 79,000 in the capital and 14,000 in the south according to its '2025 Vision for London' manifesto. Brendan Sarsfield, chair of the g15, said: “The housing crisis i...

Mixed reception for Tory promise to extend office-to-resi extension

5th March 2015

The Conservative Party’s promise to extend permitted development (PD) rights to 2020 if re-elected in May has brought a cautious welcome. Charles Mills, head of planning at Daniel Watney, said: "Extending PD rights beyond May 2016 will bring both opportunities and challenges - particularly for London. While office-to-resi conversions are undoubtedly a useful tool to help fix our housing crisis, the Conservatives must be mindful that, with the economic recovery gathering pace, demand for offic...

Shelter: First-time buyers lose £77k in escape from childhood bedroom

5th March 2015

First-time buyers are having to pay almost £77,000 more for a home due to the widening gap between house prices and wages, according to new research from Shelter. The homelessness charity looked at what house prices would be if they had risen in line with average first-time buyer income. Under this analysis, those putting a foot on the property ladder would be paying £76,873 - or almost 40% - less for their first home, which would cost around £121,000. With average house prices now...

NFA briefing renews demand for direct payments to landlords

5th March 2015

The National Federation of ALMOs (arm’s length management organisations) has issued a best-practice briefing, 'Ready or Not – Preparing for the National Rollout of Universal Credit'. The NFA, whose 47 member organisations together manage more than 650,000 council homes across England, renewed its manifesto call for all parties to make payment direct to landlords a tenant choice “and allow them to make that decision if it is the best way for them to ensure their rent is paid and ...

Halifax reports small monthly drop in house prices

5th March 2015

House prices fell by 0.3% between January and February to an average £192,372, partly offsetting January’s 1.9% rise. House prices for December-February were 2.6% higher than in the previous three months (September-November). Prices in the three months to February were 8.3% higher than in the same period three months a year earlier. Housing economist Martin Ellis said: "The firming in price growth shown by the recent pickup in the three month-on-three month comparison and indications ...