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Legal & General in £50m, 800-home deal with CCH

1st April 2015

Chorley Community Housing (CCH) is getting a £50 million, 40-year loan from Legal & General to fund a pipeline of 814 new homes over the next three years in the North West, with pensioners' money playing a key role. Kerrigan Procter, MD of Legal & General Retirement, said: “The UK has a chronic shortage of housing across all tenures. At Legal & General we are playing our part in changing this. Annuity money is ideally suited for investment in housing and infrastructure, as it can...

Julian Turner new FD at TVH, Jack Stephen retiring after 20 years

1st April 2015

Jack Stephen, a well-known figure in the sector, is retiring after 20 years as finance director for Thames Valley Housing. His deputy, Julian Turner (photo), has been appointed as his successor, starting 1 June. The oft-misspelt Stephen (there's no 's' at the end) steps down at the end of May. Turner has also worked at Standard Bank PLC and WestLB AG. TVH chief executive Geeta Nanda said: "Julian has made a terrific impact at TVH, leading projects such as the debt refinancing package with Pricoa Mor...

New retail charity bond launched for Hightown

1st April 2015

Hightown Praetorian & Churches Housing Association is offering small investors a “unique opportunity” to invest in charitable activities in their local community. A new retail charity bond has been launched to help the 4,400-home Hightown provide ‘affordable housing’ in Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire. “We aim to help homeless people and people who cannot afford to rent or buy at market rates by developing new high quality homes,” Hightown chief e...

Wales’ largest social landlord sees digital payments rise

1st April 2015

Wales’ largest social landlord has seen a surge in its residents paying by digital payment channels – now representing more than half the value of payments it takes by debit and credit cards. RCT Homes, which provides housing services to more than 20,000 people of all ages in the Rhondda Cynon Taff region, partners with secure payment solutions provider allpay, which allows it to offer its residents multiple payment options across cash, card and direct debit acceptance. In the last year, i...

Renting ‘lifers’ £500,000 worse off than those who buy in their 20s

25th March 2015

Families who are never able to get on the property ladder will be more than £561,000 worse off over their lifetime than those who can buy a home in their 20s, new research has revealed. The study by the housing charity Shelter paints a picture of the huge financial, social and psychological implications of England’s housing shortage on people left locked out of a home of their own. By analysing the income and assets of ‘first time flyers’ who have help onto the property lad...

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. ...

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...

‘Poverty pay’ soars 65% under Tory-led coalition

23rd March 2015

London’s ‘poverty pay’ levels have soared by 65% since the Tory-led coalition took power in 2010, a shock new report has revealed.  Labour’s London Assembly economic spokesperson Fiona Twycross’ study shows that nearly 1,000,000 Londoners are now paid less than the minimum wage.  ‘The High Cost of Low Wages’ report has also revealed that average real terms pay has fallen almost £3,000 over the same period - despite living costs rocketing....

allpay awarded prepaid framework contract

20th March 2015

Payment specialists allpay has been awarded a place on a local authority framework for prepaid cards - allowing any council or clinical commissioning group in the UK to access its services, avoiding the need to conduct a full tender exercise. The framework, launched by Surrey County Council, went live from 13 February 2015 – following tender. allpay, with nearly 20 years’ experience in public and private sector payments, provides prepaid solutions to more than 60 local authorities and ...

All quiet on the mortgage front, says unsurprised CML

19th March 2015

Gross mortgage lending in February reached an estimated £13.4 billion in an unsurprisingly quiet month, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said Thursday. That’s 9% down on both January and last February, in both of which months £14.8 billion was advanced. It’s the lowest monthly estimate for gross mortgage lending since April 2013 when lending totalled £12.4bn. CML chief economist Bob Pannell said: “Earlier soft approvals data meant that weaker February lending...