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Welsh social landlord invests £thousands into schools

30th September 2014

A Welsh social landlord is to invest £9,000 in two schools. NPT Homes says it received a "wide range of high quality applications" in response to its community development fund, a new initiative to help people in the Neath Port Talbot area to improve their environment, neighbourhood or community through the funding of specific projects. After receiving 25 applications, NPT's £25,900 fund has been split between seven successful applicants, including two schools in Port Talbot - Dyffryn...

Third of UK's would-be movers put off by cost

30th September 2014

A third of Britons who would like to move have abandoned the idea because of the expense, a poll has found. The survey found that the cost of moving was the biggest factor in making people cancel their moving plans, closely followed by the 'lack of desirable houses'. The poll quizzed nearly 2,000 homeowners from around the UK who had considered moving in the last year but who were yet to do so. Over a third said that they had decided to stay put in the end. The most off-putting factors about moving ho...

Opinion: The Tories' war on the poor enters final stages

29th September 2014

By Max Salsbury, tired after reading a load of conference speeches Speaking at the Conservative Party conference today, the hard-boiled work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, kindly listed the Tory-led coalition's many successes in its fight to save the UK from oblivion. This was very good of him, and he was also thoughtful enough to remind delegates that the entire mess he and his colleagues had been clever enough to clean up was all Labour's fault, referring to the previous government's ...

Housing provider secures £250 million through bond issue

29th September 2014

A Midlands housing provider has issued a £250 million bond to support its growth and development. whg's bond will mature in October 2045 and has a fixed interest rate of 4.25%, with the yield priced at 125 basis points above the cost of government borrowing. The issuing of the bond follows the 19,000-home provider being given an A2 rating by Moody’s. The ratings agency said that whg's A2 assignment "reflected its high percentage of revenues from low-risk social housing lettings, balan...

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis gets £10,000 in latest JCB Tory donation

29th September 2014

The Minister for Housing and Planning has become the latest Tory to benefit from a sizeable cash donation from construction equipment firm JCB. Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth, was given £10,000 by the company in July. We have asked JCB if there was a specific reason for the donation and are currently awaiting a response. JCB’s chairman, Sir Anthony Bamford, has donated well over a million pounds to the Conservative Party over the years. Commenting in the past, a JCB press offic...

Housing associations to bid for government's £400 million 'rent to buy' pot

26th September 2014

Housing associations are being invited to bid for a share of a £400 million low cost loan pot the government has provided for a 'rent to buy' scheme. Communities secretary Eric Pickles announced the programme today, claiming it will boost the building of new rental homes and also help "hardworking people later upgrade into homeownership". HAs and other providers can bid for a share of the £400m low cost loan pot, which is aimed at leading to the development of up to 10,000 homes acr...

Children stealing £millions in housing and cash from their elderly parents

25th September 2014

A shock study has revealed that nearly £25 million in cash and property was stolen from elderly vulnerable people last year - with the majority of thieves being related to their victims. Many of the familial crooks either defrauded their relatives of money, sold their homes without consent, or applied pressure such as blackmail to persuade an elderly person to give away their home. National charity Action on Elder Abuse's (AEA) alarming report on the extent of theft committed against older pe...

Social landlord posts record £11 million surplus

25th September 2014

A North West social landlord has announced a record surplus of £11 million in its latest value for money (VfM) assessment. Progress Housing Group, which manages 11,000 homes across Lancashire, says it will invest its millions in new 'affordable' housing. The group’s turnover increased by 7.4% to £68.6m in 2013/14 and its community alarm service, Progress Lifeline, saw a turnover increase by 3.6% to £1.4m. Progress's VFM assessment also revealed that it made a saving of &po...

Credit union borrowers save £millions

24th September 2014

Londoners who have taken out loans with of the city's credit unions have saved £6.5 million in interest payments and other charges over the last 12 months, its chief executive has revealed. In the 12 months to the end of August, London Capital Credit Union issued loans to the value of £5.3 million. CEO Martin Groombridge said: “We estimate that our members will have saved £6.5m in interest, charges and fees by switching their borrowing to us from payday lenders a...

Miliband's housebuilding promise welcomed but mansion tax plans slammed (again)

24th September 2014

Labour leader Ed Miliband's promise to double the UK's housebuilding output has been welcomed - but his party's pledge to bring in a 'mansion tax' has received further criticism. Speaking at the party's annual conference in Manchester yesterday, Miliband addressed the country's housing crisis and committed to making housebuilding a capital spending priority. His assurance to double housebuilding and bring forward a new generation of garden cities has been welcomed by the Town and Country Planning...