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£750,000 government grant to tackle empty homes

30th July 2014

Around 75 empty homes in Greater Manchester will be brought back into use with a £750,000 government grant. Oldham-based housing association Aksa Homes has been awarded the money from the Homes and Communities Agency to refurbish privately-owned properties in Oldham, Rochdale and Manchester. The work will be carried out between 2015 and 2018 under the next phase of the affordable homes programme. Since 2011, Aksa has worked with partners to transform more than 50 empty properties across...

North West to see 1,100 new homes after £22m HCA grant

29th July 2014

Adactus Housing Group is to build over 1,100 new homes across the North West of England, after receiving £22 million from the Homes and Communities Agency. The total includes over 500 homes in Lancashire and over 500 in Greater Manchester and Cheshire. More than 100 homes are to be built in Sefton. The HCA grant to Adactus from its affordable homes programme fund for 2015-18 was the 10th largest nationally. The 1,100 new homes are in addition to 500 properties that Adactus already has und...

Tories spot gaps in the market for 10,000 new London homes

29th July 2014

The Greater London Authority's Conservatives say they have identified 4,552 redundant sites and gaps across the capital - that could provide space for 10,000 new homes over the next 10 years. A new report - 'Gap In The Market' - sets out a large scale disused site action plan across housing estates in 13 boroughs. The earmarked plots currently house things such as old laundries, garages and store sheds, according to the report. And one of the report's key recommendations is for a city-wide pilo...

HCA gives council £15m to tackle housing shortage

28th July 2014

Hull City Council has been awarded over £15 million by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to tackle a shortage of housing stock in the city. The affordable homes programme funding, totally £15,165,300, will be used to deliver 634 'affordable' rented homes through a number of projects across the city, the council says. Schemes that will benefit from the funding include the council’s new build schemes on Preston Road and Orchard Park; Pickering and Ferens’ new build scheme...

Collapse of the nimby? Opposition to housebuilding falls

28th July 2014

There has been a big fall in opposition to housebuilding amongst the British public, a poll has revealed. The British Social Attitudes survey found that between 2010 and 2013, people's hostility to new homes being built in their area fell by 15%. The fall in opposition to housebuilding was greatest among those aged over 65. In 2010, over half of over-65s (51%) were opposed to new homes being built in their local area but this had fallen to less than a third (30%) by 2013. Meanwhile, the 35-54s need the mos...

Council abolishes regional planning committees

28th July 2014

A London borough has got rid of its regional planning committees, taking decision-making away from elected councillors. All planning decisions in Redbridge will now be taken by the Labour-led authority’s planning officials. Council leader Jas Athwal proposed replacing area meetings with monthly public forums around the borough. According to a report by the council’s solicitor, Simon Goodwin, the regional committees cost the north east London borough £45,000 a year. The counci...

Opinion: Could an affordable housing market solve the cost of living crisis?

25th July 2014

By Sarah Willis The average cost of buying a house rose 94% against a wage rise of 29% between 2001 and 2011. From 1997 to 2012, the ratio of house prices to earnings shifted from less than 6:1 across most of the UK to at least 6:1 across most of the country, rising to 8:1 across the south and more than 10:1 in London and the home counties. At the same time, the financial crisis triggered the longest period of falling wages for 50 years, exacerbated by a period of high inflation. Whilst wages are ...

Opinion: Spurs new stadium aggrandisement - Tottenham community won't be red-carded

25th July 2014

By Martin Ball, Tottenham Hale resident and community campaigner The compulsory purchase order red card given to the business said to be in the way of the planned new Spurs stadium is not the end of the fight for those resisting both the stadia aggrandisement and the social cleansing consequences of the wider regeneration agenda. The destiny of the Tottenham community is not something to be pre-ordained by the Spurs-Haringey Council-Mayor of London-central government axis determined to 'place-change'...

Opinion: Housing providers build homes. It’s obvious, isn’t it?

25th July 2014

By Jeremy Porteus, director, Housing Learning and Improvement Network Yet do we sometimes forget that living, breathing people with their own dreams, aspirations and worries are actually going to live in those homes. They will form a community and be part of the wider community around any new development. For a long time, we in housing have been talking about building communities. We are obsessed with chasing grant, planning and design and building the bricks and mortar. Given the chronic need fo...

Council at centre of Heygate affordable housing fuss to produce homelessness protocol

25th July 2014

Southwark Council is set to agree a new protocol which it says will help those "most vulnerable to becoming homeless". The proposal for the protocol sets out how the authority intends to reduce homelessness, and, if approved, the new strategy will involve working with a large number of housing association partners to tackle the "main issues which lead to homelessness". The council has come under stiff criticism for its affordable housing allocation quotas around the redevelopment of the Heygate Estate. The council said in 2006 that 50% of the homes of the regenerated ...