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Million people ‘physically and verbally abused’ for claiming benefits

12th September 2014

Almost a million people claiming benefits have been physically and verbally abused, according to new research commissioned by the ‘Who Benefits?’ campaign. A poll carried out by YouGov showed 15% of those receiving benefits said they had experienced verbal abuse because they are getting support from benefits, and 4% reported that they had been physically abused. This amounts to nearly 800,000 people facing verbal abuse and 200,000 facing physical abuse for claiming support. Also, 16% said a landl...

Housing associations and credit unions back affordable lending campaign

10th September 2014

More than a quarter of people accepting short-term loans have no idea of the actual cost. The research, revealed by national social lending organisation My Home Finance, shows it has become "morally acceptable for individuals to pay extortionate rates for short-term loans, with no questions asked by the loan provider to determine whether they can afford it". My Home Finance chief executive Tess Pendle said: "Customers have been led to believe that it is fine for them to be allowed to take out cred...

UK's housing shortage costing consumers £4 billion a year

8th September 2014

The UK's housing shortage has created above-inflation house price rises which are costing consumers £4 billion every year, a new report has revealed. The CBI's 'Housing Britain' report shows that the housing crisis is eating taking £3.2bn in housing-related costs and £770 million in transport-related costs out of the public's pocket - money it says could otherwise be saved or spent in the wider economy. The CBI says the situation is also holding back many young people from gett...

Is it time to 'buddy up' and share a mortgage?

3rd September 2014

The Shareamortgage.com website is offering what it calls "a unique platform" for would-be buyers to "buddy up" and share the costs and benefits of buying a house. "Wage growth has been less than 1% in recent months and, with property prices rising far quicker than average earnings, people haven’t had the time to catch up with the rising cost of living, leaving many trapped by their own budgets," said Andrew Boast, co-founder of Shareamortgage.com. The website has an affordability calculator which...

Revealed: Britain's last remaining place with 'easily affordable' housing

1st September 2014

Only one of Britain’s local authority areas still contains 'easily affordable' housing, a new report has revealed. According to the TUC's analysis of analysis of median salaries and house prices by local authority area, only Copeland in the Lake District contains properties that cost less than three times the average annual salary. The study found that in 1997 around one in five local authority areas had homes that were ‘easily affordable’. In Copeland's neighbouring local auth...

20% of borough's right to buy council homes in hands of 'extortionate' private landlords

29th August 2014

A fifth of a London borough's former council homes sold off under the controversial right to buy scheme are in the hands of private landlords charging "extortionate rents" a councillor has said. According to Camden Council's cabinet member for finance and technology policy, Theo Blackwell, many people now renting homes that used to belong to the local authority are being supported by the taxpayer, as private landlords continue to "exploit" the right to buy policy. Despite the situation in Camden, Housi...

Old London garage's value outstrips French cottage by £20,000

29th August 2014

In yet another crazy twist to the ongoing London property price saga, a shabby-looking garage has come on the market for £50,000 - nearly £20,000 more than an idyllic two-bed cottage in northern France. According to the estate agent, the garage near Wandsworth Common is "good-sized" and offers "secure parking or fantastic storage space". Meanwhile, the rustic cottage in Brittany is on the market for €40,000, around £31,000. The agent describes the dwelling as "the perfect holiday hide-away or bijou residence" (that's the cottage, not the garage). Set in the village of Saint...

Amount of UK 'property millionaires' doubles in a year

26th August 2014

The number of Britain's homeowners classed as 'property millionaires' has almost doubled in the last year, rising by 49%. According to property website Zoopla, there are now 484,081 British homes valued at or above £1 million. And Zoopla's Property Rich List 2014 shows that 10,613 British streets have an average property value of £1m+, up 29% on 2013. The list reveals that the 10 most expensive streets in Britain have seen property values grow 12.9% over the last year, compared to ...

TUC: Welfare reforms 'spectacularly failing' PM's new family test

22nd August 2014

The majority of the Tory-led coalition's welfare reforms will fall on working families, according to a new report by the TUC. The union body says the cuts to state welfare have already failed Prime Minister David Cameron's new ‘family test’ in "spectacular fashion" with working parents and their children billions of pounds worse off as a result. Cameron announced this week that, from October, every new domestic policy "will be examined for its impact on the family". The TUC's analysis - which ...

Home Group’s plans for its £62m surplus

22nd August 2014

By Mark Henderson, chief executive, Home Group Anyone browsing the webpages of social housing publications recently can’t fail to have noticed one thing – it’s that time of year when associations post their annual reports. The sector has been keen to shout about how despite tough times many providers have increased or posted record surpluses. The sums involved are not inconsiderable. In Home Group’s case we recorded a £62.1m operating surplus in the last year and that...

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