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Opinion: Why are we building unaffordable homes?

26th March 2015

By Richard Peacock, chief executive, Soha Housing I was pleasantly surprised last week when Soha’s Tenant Scrutiny Group said ‘why are you building unaffordable homes?’ This was a salutary wake-up call as we had just finished celebrating building our 2000th new home since stock transfer.  It was a terrific day when we had one of our original ‘new’ tenants who got their new home in 2000 presenting a bunch of flowers to one of our newest tenants who have recent...

Tower blocks get multi-million pound makeover

25th March 2015

A tower block in the heart of Manchester has been given a dramatic transformation. Humphries Court in Collyhurst has been re-clad with ‘chameleon’ panels, which change colour with the light - the first time that the panels have been used in this way on residential homes in the UK. Tenants in the block have also had new windows and balcony enclosures, as well as decent homes improvements to their kitchens or bathrooms. The scheme is part of a £7 million makeover of four 1960s ...

Opinion: The Tories want to destroy the social housing sector. Don’t let them do it

24th March 2015

By Max Salsbury, 24dash reporter Are you planning on voting for the Conservative Party at the coming election?  It’s a free country; you can vote for whom you please, and I’m not going to stop you. How could I?  Or perhaps you’ll vote for Ukip. Again, that’s your choice. I think it’d be a very, very bad choice; in fact an awful choice. Actually, it’s a dangerous choice, but it’s your right – so do as you will. But anyway, these Tories. ...

Reflections on the Homes For Britain Rally – Finding Our Voice?

23rd March 2015

By Sasha Deepwell, deputy chief executive, Wulvern Housing Association                                                I admire people who can blog on demand and on the spot, producing instant or next day blogs. For me, a little more reflection is needed.  So it has taken me a few days to digest my thoughts on the Homes for Britain rally. I wanted to ensure that I had so...

Developers must provide 50% 'affordable' housing, says council

23rd March 2015

Croydon Council has said that residential developments built outside of the town centre will be required to provide a minimum 50% 'affordable' housing. From 1 April, council policy will state that half of all the bedrooms where there are 10 or more homes are in 'affordable' housing units. The minimum level is currently 30% but the local plan policy allows this to be reviewed each year in response to market changes. And developments within the town centre that offer less than 50% affordable hou...

HCA: The VfM questions all associations should be able to answer

23rd March 2015

By Matthew Bailes, director of regulation, Homes and Communities Agency  The debate on the value for money offered by the housing association sector is a long running saga.  Our latest set of regulatory judgements may be the most recent chapter, but it won’t be the final one. The problem is simple.  Customers cannot shop around and there are no shareholders to demand efficiencies and higher returns.  Given weaker incentives, how can stakeholders (not least the taxpayer) be as...

'Affordable' homes brought to Nottinghamshire

23rd March 2015

A housing association has brought 21 new 'affordable' homes to Nottinghamshire.  Metropolitan's £1.25 million refurbishment in Rushcliffe involved the conversion of a two-storey 1970s sheltered housing scheme into new flats.  The project saw the properties stripped back to a shell as 32 flats were remodelled into more spacious one and two-bed homes, while the grounds were landscaped to provide private gardens and communal space. Rushcliffe Borough Council contributed £440,...

Eight basement developments halted by planners in single day

19th March 2015

The hopes of eight basement developers fell to earth when planning enforcement officers from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea ordered them to stop work for failing to stick to agreed Construction Traffic Management Plans (CTMP). Basements divide people at the best of times and Tuesday’s crackdown followed close work between planners and residents who were concerned about the disruption caused by vehicles coming and going from sites in Tor Gardens, Hornton Street and Sheffield Terrace i...

Tottenham Hotspur to move into new £400 million stadium for 2018/19 season after firm drops challenge

16th March 2015

A firm whose refusal to sell its land has held back Tottenham Hotspur’s plans to develop a new £400 million stadium has finally told the club it can push ahead with its scheme. Archway Sheet Metal Works’ stance has dogged the Premier League side’s plans for almost 10 years. Spurs were awarded a compulsory purchase order by communities secretary Eric Pickles last year, but the firm challenged the order and the club had to wait for a High Court decision last month that threw...

Lib Dems announce ‘rent to own’ scheme

13th March 2015

The Liberal Democrats have announced plans for a ‘rent to own’ scheme for first time buyers (FTBs), as part of their election manifesto.  The scheme would aim to help FTBs onto the housing ladder by allowing them to build up a share in their home through renting, and buy a property without needing a deposit.  According to the Lib Dems, rent to own will see FTBs steadily build up a share in their home through monthly payments equivalent to rent until they own the property out...