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Opinion: Are RHPs losing their appetite to develop?

25th July 2014

After the latest round of Homes and Communities Agency grants were announced this week, Keith Searle, development director at SDS (Shelton Development Services), asks if RHPs are losing the appetite to build new homes.  The HCA has just allocated more than half of its £1.7 billion pot of grant funding for the affordable homes programme 2015-18, and it is clear that some of the biggest developing landlords are shrinking their bids by between a half and two-thirds of their previous programm...

Hard up renters turning to payday lenders for deposits

25th July 2014

Renters are being priced out of house and home by deposits that have soared by 50% since the financial crisis began, new data have shown. Figures from the government-backed Deposit Protections Service have revealed that the average deposit for a rented property in the North East of England has jumped from £600 to £900 since 2007, while wages have climbed by only 13%. And the steep hike means that 49% of renters in the region are having to borrow money to pay for their deposits, with m...

Over 50 'affordable' homes coming to Manchester after further HCA largesse

24th July 2014

New 'affordable' housing is to be built on spare land across north Manchester after the Homes and Communities Agency chucked a few quid in. The 56 properties will be built by Manchester City Council, which submitted a bid to the HCA's affordable homes programme - and netted itself £1 million. The funds will cover a fifth of the building costs, with the council making up the rest. The Riverdale area of Blackley will see 24 new homes built with the rest in Collyhurst - 11 will be built in I...

Opinion: A response to the HCA’s affordable homes programme funding allocations

24th July 2014

By Jill Haley, chief executive of Byker Community Trust and North East chair of the Chartered Institute of Housing I think most people in the UK housing industry will join me in broadly welcoming this week’s funding announcement from the Homes and Communities Agency, which will see £850 million invested into social housing through the affordable homes programme. This money is much-needed and it will deliver positive outcomes for many families and communities. Building new homes for social rent offers many ec...

HCA's funding bonanza keeps the 'affordable' homes a-coming

24th July 2014

The development of yet more 'affordable' homes has been announced in the wake of the Homes and Communities Agency's big cash funding bonanza. The Longhurst Group, a provider of housing, care and support services, was awarded £17.8 million in this week's HCA allocations - money it will use to build 890 new homes. On top of the windfall, the group has secured a further £25m in funding in the form of a reserve bond negotiated as part of a £250m debut bond it issued in July 2012. I...

Over 300 'affordable' homes coming to Cornwall after £10m HCA grant

24th July 2014

Social landlord Coastline Housing is set to deliver 326 'affordable' homes across Cornwall after being awarded £10 million in grant funding by the Homes and Communities Agency. Coastline says it will use the cash to bring 326 new homes to the county between 2015 and 2018. And the funding award represents a new record for the 4,000-home landlord, being 250% higher than any previous funding bid it has secured. Coastline's chief executive, Ann Cornelius, said: "This is fantastic news not j...

HAs unite to battle loan sharks with affordable loans

24th July 2014

Housing associations across the north of England are joining forces to offer affordable lending to their tenants in an effort to battle loan sharks and payday lenders. With research showing that illegal money lenders and providers of high-cost short-term credit regularly target housing association estates, Guinness Northern Counties, City West Housing Trust, New Charter Housing Trust, Tameside MBC, Helena Partnerships, Riverside, Coast & Country and Eastlands Homes have teamed up with not-for-p...

Councils failing to spend £millions in DHPs as families struggle

23rd July 2014

By Neil Merrick Local authorities are failing to spend millions of pounds that could potentially be used as emergency payments for families hit by welfare cuts. Figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show councils spent just £147 million of the £160m that was initially allocated to them in 2013/14 for discretionary housing payments (DHPs). When the DWP offered a further £20m partway through the year, councils bid for less than £13m of this extra pot. But w...

First time buyers to die of bad news poisoning: British house values rising £90 per day

23rd July 2014

Those trying to get on the property ladder might be forgiven for having a long, hard weep in the cupboard: the average British home rose by £90 a day in value in the first half of 2014. And, according to property website Zoopla, the average home is now worth £260,488 - up a staggering £16,265 since the start of the year. Though all of the country's regions saw prices soar, at 8.2% (£43,115) London continued to experience the highest growth rate. The East and South East of ...

Social housing consortium to deliver 2,000 homes after £35m HCA grant

23rd July 2014

A social housing consortium says it will build nearly 2,000 homes after being awarded £34.8 million in the Homes and Communities Agency's funding allocation round yesterday. Jv North's allocation is the second highest in the country outside of London, with the funds coming from the £1.7 billion affordable homes programme 2015/18 budget. The funds will see 1,745 homes built by JV North's members, who own more than 73,000 homes between them, over the next three years. JV North chairman Nigel Wi...