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The London borough where 1 in 5 aren't paid the legally required minimum wage

17th April 2014

The Mayor of Newham has called on the government to give more powers to local authorities to enforce against employers who don't pay the minimum wage, after research found almost one in five residents in the borough take home less than £6.19 an hour. Sir Robin Wales has asked for tougher action after Ipsos MORI's study revealed that many employers are currently breaking the law with their current wage structures. The research also showed that nearly half of all residents in work do not r...

Housing group pours £1.5m into local communities

17th April 2014

Lancashire-based social landlord Progress Housing Group has made a £1.5 million fund available to communities in South Ribble and Fylde. Progress's community investment fund offers tenants and community groups the opportunity to put forward their ideas for improving the areas in which they live. Interested parties can bid for funding from the £1.5m pot. A customer panel, made up of tenants, evaluates each submission on its long-term benefits for a whole community and decides which wi...

Hull commits £75 to housing budget

17th April 2014

Hull City Council says it has committed to one of the largest budgets for housing in the country. The local authority has allocated almost £75 million to housing works through the city's revenue and capital housing budget, covering repairs, maintenance, energy efficiency works, improvements to sheltered housing and regeneration schemes. The budget will also be used to bring empty homes and buildings back into use and to build new homes. According to the council, its housing spend will prov...

Bedroom tax preparations pay off for social landlord as arrears drop

16th April 2014

A social landlord has hailed its preparations for the government's welfare reforms as the driver for a "significant reduction" in rent arrears. Around 2,500 of Orbit's households have been hit by the bedroom tax, and 167 have seen their benefits reduced as a consequence of exceeding the overall weekly cap. Orbit’s says it work on addressing the changes to the benefit system reduced arrears by around £210,000, while 275 'under-occupiers' have been successfully down-sized. The 38,000-home provider ha...

Housing association secures £75m for new homes

16th April 2014

L&Q has secured a £75 million finance package to develop and purchase new property. The 70,000-home provider says the deal with HSBC Corporate Banking Real Estate will help to bring more 'affordable' housing to London and the South East. Last year, L&Q started or completed work on over 3,000 new homes, and currently has a further 12,000 homes in the pipeline. Andy Armstrong, HSBC's head of corporate banking real estate for Europe, said: “There has been a lot of comment o...

Financial situation deteriorating for majority of low income social housing tenants

16th April 2014

Almost two thirds of social housing households feel that their financial situation has worsened in the last year, a survey has revealed. The study, by charity Turn2us, has found that on average, people living in social housing are forced to spend over half (55%) of their monthly income on utility bills and food. Meanwhile, those living in the private rented sector have to spend over a quarter (26%) of their income on rent. Worryingly, just under a half (47%) of social housing tenants say their outgo...

Opinion: Investment Property Databank

15th April 2014

By Steve Coffey, CEO, Liverpool Mutual Homes The launch of a sector-wide index by the Investment Property Databank may go down as a key milestone in social housing’s history and earlier this week delegates at the National Housing Federation’s finance conference heard about it first-hand. It is a crucial tool in the ever-increasing commercial and value for money landscape of the sector. The aim of IPD is to demonstrate the economic performance of landlords’ property assets by c...

House prices soar by 10% in 12 months

15th April 2014

Average house prices across the UK rose by 9.1% in the year to February, the Office of National Statistics' latest figures have shown. Though prices have soared most dramatically in England (9.7%), Wales (5.3%), Scotland (2.4%) and Northern Ireland (2.8%) all saw rises. Once again, London was the region which registered the greatest price hike (17%), followed by the South East (8%) and the East of England (7.7%). If London and the South East are excluded from the equation, English house prices cl...

First-time buyers endure massive 200% house price rise

11th April 2014

House prices paid by first-time buyers have soared by more than 200% since 2001, a new report has revealed. According to the Chartered Institute of Housing’s UK Housing Review 2014, the average price paid by FTBs has risen by 220%, from £85,021 in 2001 to £189,668 in 2013, Meanwhile, the cost of the average mortgage for FTBs has risen by 210% in the same period. And wages have failed to keep pace with the increases, with the average income rising by just 164%. Last year, the a...

Home Group boss backs Boris' plans for housing bank

10th April 2014

Home Group chief executive Mark Henderson has welcomed London Mayor Boris Johnson's plan to create a housing investment bank. This could see up to £200 million made available to housebuilders with the aim of increasing the supply of affordable homes in the capital. "We’ve long argued for the establishment of housing investment banks alongside our idea of housing enterprise zones," Henderson said. "Housing construction is good for the economy. For every £1 spent on construction t...