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Report: Women twice as dependent on social security than men

6th July 2015

More women could be pushed into poverty and disproportionately affected by social security reforms if the UK Government cuts £12 billion from its welfare budget, welfare minister Margaret Burgess has said. Commenting on the Scottish parliament’s welfare reform committee’s Women and Social Security report , the minister expressed her fears that the UK government’s emergency budget would only deepen the gender inequalities highlighted in the findings. The report backed Sc...

Tackling homelessness early could save £1000s for every person helped

2nd July 2015

Tackling homelessness early could save the taxpayer between £3,000 and £18,000 for every person helped, according to new research from homelessness charity Crisis. The Financial Costs of Single Homelessness in the UK makes the economic case for helping homeless people at an early stage. It warns that unless people get the help they need, their lives can quickly spiral out of control, leaving them vulnerable to mental and physical health problems, violent crime and problems with drugs and a...

Report: London's middle earners priced out of 'affordable' home ownership

1st July 2015

The London Assembly Housing Committee report ‘First Steps on the Ladder’ looks at the Mayor’s plans to help Londoners access 'affordable' home ownership. The report finds that shared ownership – ‘part-buy, part-rent’ – is failing in its designed purpose to help low to middle income Londoners into full owner occupation. Further highlights include: The continuing rise in house prices could jeopardise the long-term affordability of the shared ownership model &ndas...

Death of cash greatly exaggerated according to BRC

1st July 2015

The results of this year’s annual BRC Payments Survey, released today, confirm that cash remains the preferred payment method in the majority of transactions.  Despite a slight decline, cash continued to account for over 52 per cent of all transactions. However, the average value of transactions across all payment methods has fallen again this year. This provides yet more evidence of the continuing structural change in the retail industry. Shoppers have become less reliant on large w...

Female flatsharers earn less but pay more rent

30th June 2015

Women living in shared, rented accommodation are £2,271 worse off than men, according to data from flat and house share site SpareRoom.co.uk, which compares the financial situations of male and female flatsharers. Despite women earning 7% less than men – a gender pay gap of £1,995 –women are spending £276 per year more on rent. In London, the gender gap widens to £4,236. Women are earning 14% less than men but are still paying marginally more in rent per...

NHBC reports strong new homes growth

29th June 2015

New home registrations for 2015 remain at a higher level than last year with strong growth reported in May, according to new figures released by NHBC. The figures also show encouraging signs of a revival in the public and ‘affordable’ housing sector, which saw an 8% increase in registrations in May. For the rolling quarter (March – May), registrations increased by 15% compared to the same period last year (43,987 in 2015; 38,247 in 2014), mirroring the strong growth already r...

Analysis shows bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better when it comes to housing repairs

24th June 2015

Sector-wide data analysis, published this week by HouseMark, appears to challenge the idea that larger housing providers benefit from economies of scale when it comes to responsive repairs.  The research draws on HouseMark’s unparalleled access to cost and performance data submitted by its members: the most comprehensive source of data on the delivery of social housing in the UK. Based on data collected from members in the year up to April 2014, HouseMark estimates that UK social landlor...

Birmingham project saves young people £40k in energy bills

22nd June 2015

A Birmingham based financial confidence project has saved young people and first time social housing tenants across the city more than £40,000 in energy bills. The ‘Pay Ahead, Stay Ahead’ (PASA) project is being run by Ashrammoseley, part of the Accord Group, and is successfully advising 16-24 year olds on how to manage their household finances to avoid becoming homeless. They are targeting those at serious risk of losing their homes due to rent arrears, teaching innovative techn...

Network secures £50m facility with Clydesdale Bank

17th June 2015

Network Housing Group has secured a £50m facility with Clydesdale Bank, which will support the group’s growth strategy and assist in the development of over 3,000 new homes. Network aims to build ‘affordable’ quality homes, creating flexible purchase options for households locked out of the housing market and providing services and support to include older and vulnerable people and the homeless. The facility will help Network deliver 3,500 new homes by 2019. Barry Nethercott, Network dir...

Social housing tenants in £1.3m 'poverty premium'

17th June 2015

Research from Global information services company Experian highlights the financial inequalities faced by people in social housing when accessing essential services. Over a quarter (28 per cent) of social housing tenants are missing out on huge savings by using cash to pay for bills, goods and services, rather than direct debit, according to the research. For many low income families paying in cash, this ‘poverty premium’ has been calculated to amount to more than £1,280 a year – a...