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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 ...

Consortium commits to investing £200m in 1,800 new homes

20th October 2014

A social housing consortium has committed to spending nearly £200 million to deliver almost 1,800 new homes over the next three years. JV North's nine members will invest £161.9m during the 2015/18 period of the affordable homes programme, complementing a £34.8m grant the consortium was awarded by the Homes and Communities Agency in July. A total of 1,745 homes will be built, with 1,493 made for 'affordable rent' rates and 252 offered for shared ownership. JV North's individual memb...

Social landlord gets AA credit rating

20th October 2014

Social landlord Notting Hill Housing Trust has been issued with an AA rating by credit agency Standard and Poor's. In its first assessment of the organisation, S&P awarded the housing provider the strong rating based on factors such as: • The extremely high demand for affordable housing in London.• Its solid track record of managing large development programmes. • Its strong financial performance over the last five years. Group finance director, Paul Phillips, said: "This is great...

UK economy predicted to grow by £12bn as construction sector sees rapid growth

20th October 2014

The construction sector will grow by 23% in the next four years, according to a new forecast. According to the Construction Products Association's autumn forecasts, the industry will contribute £12 billion to the UK economy over the next two years alone, with private housing starts expected to grow 18% in 2014 and 10% in 2015. The forecast shows that road construction will swell by an enormous 46.1% by 2018 - while energy infrastructure will balloon by a gigantic 118.2% within the next four ye...