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HA announces £75m surplus

30th July 2014

Housing association Affinity Sutton has reported a surplus of £75 million in its annual report for 2013/14. It's highest ever surplus, the cash will all be used to development new homes and maintain and improve existing ones, Affinity Sutton says. According to the 57,000-home provider: "This robust financial position creates a solid foundation for an ongoing development programme over the coming years, against a backdrop of reducing public subsidy for social housing." The social landlord saw its...

Opinion: Some food for thought for Brandon Lewis

30th July 2014

As an antidote to the Wednesday ramblings of Brian Church, Halton Housing’s effervescent CEO, Nick Atkin, writes reasonably sensibly about the Homes and Communities Agency’s recent affordable housing allocations. So, the eagerly awaited HCA allocations have been announced. Now the dust has settled, the general view is that it appears to have been good news for many of those who submitted bids. The north has done well. With 43% of the £900 million allocated so far, the North West ...

Genesis announces £40.1 million surplus

30th July 2014

Another day, another surplus for the sector. Genesis Housing Association, which owns or manages 33,000 properties in London and the South East, announced a £40.1 million surplus for the financial year at its AGM, compared to £44.3m in 2013 and a substantial rise since 2009 (£0.7m) before the group restructure. It said the surplus "will be channelled back into building new homes, investing in existing ones and providing a range of services in the communities in which Genesis operates"...

Most UK homeowners expecting house prices to rise yet again

29th July 2014

The mass majority of UK homeowners are eagerly expecting to see house prices soar even further over the next six months. However, though 92% of homeowners predict that prices will surge by an average of 7.6% by the end of the year, 40% claim that getting a mortgage is harder than it was three months ago. According to Zoopla's latest housing market sentiment survey, many homeowners believe that the new lending set out in the mortgage market review, which came out in April, has scuppered many people's pl...

HA: Tackling fuel poverty is top priority

29th July 2014

A Somerset-based housing association has said that helping its tenants out of fuel poverty is its top priority. Yarlington Housing Group (YHG) has taken the stance following the June release of the Department of Energy & Climate Change's Annual Fuel Poverty Statistics Report, which projected that the number of households in fuel poverty is likely to increase from 2.28 million as reported in 2012, to 2.33 million in 2014, due to the increase in energy costs. To tackle the issue, YHG has appointe...

LGA: Give 'community heroes' council tax discounts

29th July 2014

Council tax discounts should be given to the thousands of 'community heroes' who improve their areas by giving up their time to do things like help run local libraries, museums and leisure centres, the Local Government Association (LGA) has said. Those who commit to running youth clubs or give their time to regularly help the elderly could be among those who would benefit. The LGA, which represents local authorities in England and Wales, is calling on political parties to include a pledge in thei...

North West to see 1,100 new homes after £22m HCA grant

29th July 2014

Adactus Housing Group is to build over 1,100 new homes across the North West of England, after receiving £22 million from the Homes and Communities Agency. The total includes over 500 homes in Lancashire and over 500 in Greater Manchester and Cheshire. More than 100 homes are to be built in Sefton. The HCA grant to Adactus from its affordable homes programme fund for 2015-18 was the 10th largest nationally. The 1,100 new homes are in addition to 500 properties that Adactus already has und...

Housing costs keeping thousands of young adults at home with parents

29th July 2014

Nearly half (48%) of England's 20 to 34-year-olds still living with their parents are doing so because they can't afford to rent or buy their own home. New research by housing charity Shelter found that a lack of affordable housing was the single biggest reason that so many young adults are unable to fly the nest. Currently, a quarter of all 20 to 34-year-old working adults in England (1.97 million people) are living with their parents. Several areas of the country see a much higher proportio...

HCA gives council £15m to tackle housing shortage

28th July 2014

Hull City Council has been awarded over £15 million by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to tackle a shortage of housing stock in the city. The affordable homes programme funding, totally £15,165,300, will be used to deliver 634 'affordable' rented homes through a number of projects across the city, the council says. Schemes that will benefit from the funding include the council’s new build schemes on Preston Road and Orchard Park; Pickering and Ferens’ new build scheme...

Council pledges to protect vulnerable after government cuts

28th July 2014

Kensington and Chelsea Council has pledged to protect emergency financial support for people in crisis next year, after the government cancelled the grant which funds it. Previously paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), emergency support grants were delegated to local authorities in 2013. However, the DWP has now indicated that it intends to withdraw the money which fund them. As a result, Kensington and Chelsea has decided to step in and meet the cost itself, estimated to be £435...