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LibDems uneasy over sharing tenants’ rent history with credit reference agency

20th May 2015

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have expressed concern over a letter which they say has been sent to tenants by Coastal Housing Group, telling them that they will be sharing their rental payment history with credit reference agency Experian. Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black, said Coastal Housing had argued that this will enable tenants to create an online proof of identity and make it easier for them to open or change bank accounts and obtain more affordable credit. But he said ther...

Opinion: Delivering a Streamlined Service Charge – Best Practice for Social Landlords

14th May 2015

By Matthew Smith, Sales Manager Grosvenor Systems. The landscape of social housing is changing and it’s changing quickly. Instead of focusing exclusively on social housing tenants, who simply pay a weekly or monthly rent to live in a property over a period of time, many social landlords are branching out by developing flats and then selling those flats to people on a leasehold basis while at the same time retaining the freehold. So, they are responsible for managing and maintaining the com...

Shelter slams highest eviction figures by landlords in 6 years

14th May 2015

Shelter has blasted the latest Ministry of Justice figures showing that 11,307 renting households in England and Wales were evicted from their homes in the first three months of 2015. This is an 8% rise on the same period in 2014 and the highest number recorded in a single quarter since 2009. Chief executive Campbell Robb said: “Today’s figures are a glaring reminder that sky high housing costs and welfare cuts are leaving thousands of people battling to keep a roof over their heads. Ev...

Can a Purchase Order Process really yield savings, improved control and visibility for housing organisations?

5th May 2015

Contributed by Ian Smith, Finance Director and General Manager, Invu How are housing organisations using software to improve their purchase order processes to ensure they are getting real value for money with suppliers? This is a question I get asked frequently and for North-West based Adactus Housing Group (AHG), it was important to gain visibility across all departments to save money and ensure it was getting the best deals with its suppliers. Finance Software can be complex to handle, expen...

MONEY ADVICE LEADS TO £3M SAVINGS FOR TENANTS

30th April 2015

Tenants in County Durham are now more than £3m better off thanks to the advice and support provided by their local housing association. Derwentside Homes set up its Welfare Rights Team in 2011 with the aim of helping tenants cope with the impacts of welfare reforms and the impending introduction of Universal Credit. Now the team has reached a major milestone after helping tenants claim more than £3m that they were entitled to but unaware of. One person who has benefitted from the adv...

Liverpool Mutual Homes awards £200m contract to subsidiary HMS

29th April 2015

Liverpool Mutual Homes has awarded a £200 million repairs, maintenance and investment contract to its subsidiary HMS for LMH’s 15,000 homes over the next four years. The contract will see HMS provide a maximum of 75% of all of LMH’s repairs and maintenance work with the remaining 25% going out to tender. LMH chief executive Steve Coffey said: “This structure gives us the best of both worlds, enabling us to deliver the highest quality services for tenants at very low risk...

Latest BBA figures show mortgage activity 'back on track'

28th April 2015

The March figures from the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) show that mortgage activity is “back on track” according to one analyst, while a mortgage broker said interest rate rises may be delayed for another two years. Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), said: “After a subdued start to 2015, today’s figures show that mortgage activity is back on track, with total approvals at their highest level since July 2014. The value of mortgage lending i...

Sitting in your office? You’re so yesterday

28th April 2015

The traditional 9 to 5 shift is already in the process of 'dying' and the UK’s office property sector will fundamentally change in just 20 years, according to a communications group. With the growth of cloud-based services and mobile devices, people no longer need a permanent desk and will increasingly work from home or utilise pay-as-you-use alternatives, the Daisy Group said. “The business world has become extremely fast-paced and organisations need to be able to react quickly to...

Fitch warns of pressure on housing associations from RTB extension

16th April 2015

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, Fitch says the Tory Party's proposed right-to-buy extension “could add to pressure on registered housing providers’ financial flexibility”. The ratings agency said it was “too early to quantify the potential impact of the proposed extension to all housing association tenants as it is difficult to predict the number of tenants who would want to buy their homes at the larger discounts that would be available”. However, “if the pr...

Opinion: Why extending right to buy is a bad idea

14th April 2015

By Richard PeacockChief executive, Soha Housing Housing associations are charities and all the homes and rental income is held in trust for existing tenants and future tenants who are in housing need. Housing associations house the poorest in society. We charge affordable rents but even at that level over 50% cannot afford to pay their rent without housing benefit. There are at least 3,000 households in Oxfordshire in housing need. To give existing tenants the right to buy with a large discount - some mi...

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