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Top businesses, charities to help households fight rising energy bills

23rd October 2014

Senior business and charity leaders have launched 'The Big Energy Vision', a new long-term campaign to encourage UK households to take control of rising energy bills. Those involved include: Kingfisher, John Lewis, Home Retail Group, National Trust, Citizens Advice, Calor, uSwitch, Energy Saving Trust, TrustMark, Energy UK, UK Green Building Council, Global Action Plan, Willmott Dixon, and Groundwork. It is being coordinated by not-for-profit organisations Forum for the Future and Behaviour Change. ...

HCA opens bidding for £800m of 2015-18 AHP funding

23rd October 2014

The HCA has invited housing providers across England to bid for a share of around £800 million of affordable homes programme (AHP) funding, using the continuous market engagement  (CME) approach. It’s the second phase of bidding under the Homes and Communities Agency’s £1.7 billion AHP, following confirmation in July of £886 million of initial allocations for 2,697 firm schemes that "will deliver 43,821 new affordable homes". The HCA adds that the "£1.7 ...

Housing association awarded A2 rating by Moody's

23rd October 2014

A West Midlands-based housing association has been assigned an A2 issuer rating by Moody's. The outlook on Herefordshire Housing's rating is 'stable' and according to Moody's reflects its "focus on social housing activities, balanced growth ambitions with clear tenure and geographic focus, simple organisational structure and historically strong coverage ratios". Additionally, Moody's says the A2 rating acknowledges the social landlord's "downward trend in operating margin and coverages in the medium te...

Opinion: West Ham's Olympic Stadium move is becoming a national scandal

22nd October 2014

By Andrew Boff, leader of the Greater London Authority Conservatives, who continues to question the value of the Premier League club's impending move to the Olympic Stadium. It is fast becoming a national scandal that new complexities in converting the Olympic Stadium is likely to set the final bill for the venue at £634 million. That substantial bill has been footed by the taxpayer. The decision to line up West Ham as a preferred tenant on a 99-year lease will mean that they contribute ju...

Opinion: Getting the right credit rating

22nd October 2014

By Kevin Hughes, Money Advice Service  Your credit rating can have a significant influence on your ability to borrow money, which in turn can then have consequences throughout your lifetime. Quite simply, if you have a poor credit rating you may be compromised when it comes to being accepted for a new credit card, a loan, or a mortgage. To make sure you can afford your mortgage, take a look at the Money Advice Service Mortgage Calculator.  If you have not been able to demonstrate that you can repay credit on time in the pa...

1,500 whg residents gain £300 each after money advice

22nd October 2014

West Midlands-based whg has helped its residents gain more than £450,000 in income over the last year, averaging £300 each for 1,500 residents. The landlord, which manages 19,000 homes, transformed its money advice and the way it collects rent ahead of the implementation of the bedroom tax and universal credit. The extra income was due to the support residents received over debt relief or unclaimed benefits. Altogether, 3,000 people were interviewed and given one-on-one advice as part o...

Isos grandmother in shock at £1k bill after energy wazzocks read wrong meter

21st October 2014

A disabled grandmother-of-six with a hip replacement is celebrating after her northeast landlord Isos Housing helped her snuff out a staggering £1,000 energy bill, ending eight long months of tears, anger and sleepless nights. The catalogue of errors started when 68-year-old Sandra Scott asked npower to have £200 of account credit refunded into her bank account. She was told this would not be possible, and even worse quickly followed. When Scott was asked to read her meter, the naugh...

Opinion: Rent price growth eases

21st October 2014

By Martin Totty, chief executive, Barbon Insurance Group For two consecutive months the UK has experienced an easing in rental price growth, with twice as many regions seeing rental price falls than those recording an increase.    There can be an element of ‘seasonality’ to the rental market with September often recording marginally lower average prices than other months, perhaps due to the number of student letting agreements being signed at this time of year.  However...

Government's economic recovery stumbles as borrowing soars

21st October 2014

The Tory-led coalition's claims to have saved the UK's economy have taken a blow as new figures show that government borrowing ballooned last month. The country borrowed £11.8 billion in September, £1.6bn more than September last year. And the Office for National Statistics' figures reveal that public sector net debt excluding public sector banks (PSND ex) was £1,451.3bn (79.9% of GDP) in September 2014, an increase of £100.7bn compared with September 2013. Chris Leslie MP, Labour&rsquo...

Yet another housing association commits to living wage

21st October 2014

Another housing association has been accredited as a living wage (LW) employer. Manchester-based Eastlands Homes, which employs more than 350 people, will now pay all of its staff at least £7.65 an hour. Eastlands Homes says it decided to become a LW employer as it wanted its staff to be recognised for their hard work with a fair day’s pay, while being able to achieve a good work/life balance. The LW, which is set independently and updated annually, is calculated according to the basic ...