22nd October 2014
Our resident sketch-writer Rob Gershon (he’s like a talented, non-misogynistic version of Quentin Letts) reveals the effort some MPs put in into not talking about the bedroom tax…
With the passing at second reading of MP Andrew George’s Affordable Homes Bill, there was hope in some quarters that it might usher in some much needed mitigation to the removal of the... well, to the bedroom tax.
I've previously outlined why the bill is unlikely to make any difference to the disabled people and those with nowhere smaller to downsize t...
22nd October 2014
The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has given the go ahead to the merger of Jephson and Raglan into a new organisation called Stonewater, with £1.6 billion in assets and around £160 million in turnover.
The housing associations announced Wednesday that the HCA gave the green light in September. Their statement added that "HCA and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approval to Jephson, Marches and Raglan rule changes should be finalised in time for the merger to take effect from 1 Ja...
21st October 2014
Hanover deputy chief executive Rona Nicholson has been appointed the new chair of the HCA’s equality and diversity board advisory group (EDBAG).
Nicholson, who has been a member of EDBAG since April 2013, replaces outgoing chair Dorian Leatham.
"I am delighted to be taking on such an important role for the HCA," Nicholson said. "A focus on meeting the needs of all sections of our communities continues to underpin the agency’s work and, in relation to that, equality and diversity re...
20th October 2014
The Tory-led coalition's welfare reforms appear to have led to a 60% increase in evictions due to rent arrears in the London Borough of Hackney.
Between April 2014, when the government's benefit cap and controversial bedroom tax were introduced, and April 2014, 98 social housing tenants were evicted in the borough, compared to 61 the year before.
The data was made public after the Green Party made a freedom of information request to Hackney Council, which gathered its figures from its ALMO, Hackne...
20th October 2014
The government's controversial bedroom tax is driving a growing financial divide between the north and south of England, a new survey has revealed.
The poll by three national council housing organisations found that 13% of social housing tenants in the north have been affected by the Tory-led coalition's under-occupation policy, compared to 5% in London.
And the numbers of bedroom tax victims in rent arrears is also much higher in the north than the south, 7% compared to 2%.
The findings are the result...
16th October 2014
Labour has published its long-awaited plans on how it will deliver 200,000 homes a year in the UK.
The Lyons Report, prepared by Sir Michael Lyons, recommends sweeping changes to current planning rules to increase the supply of new homes.
Reacting to the report, Grainia Long, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and a member of the Lyons commission, said: “This report is a detailed blueprint for action on most of the main barriers to building 200,000 homes a year. It...
15th October 2014
Ed Miliband will today herald sweeping reforms that he insists will help communities build hundreds of thousands of new homes where families want to live, and ensure that first time buyers are given priority access rights to the houses in their local areas.
Unveiling the Lyons Report, his party's blueprint for the future of the UK's housing market, Miliband will declare that the "comprehensive plan" will meet Labour’s commitment of building 200,000 homes a year by 2020 and set a course...
15th October 2014
More than 120,000 families in England's private rented sector (PRS) have suffered health problems in the last year as a consequence of landlords failing to deal with poor conditions in their homes, new research has revealed.
Commissioned by housing charity Shelter and British Gas, the YouGov survey of over 4,500 PRS tenants found that almost half had lived in a property with damp (44%) or mould (48%) in the past year - issues that can cause health conditions such as asthma and eczema.
And nearly a fifth (...
10th October 2014
By Ajay Jagota, founder and chief executive of KIS lettings
No-one noticed this week when a complaints scheme aimed at stopping letting agents using misleading adverts, charging excessive fees and not carrying out repairs was launched.
Letting agents who have not registered with one of three government-approved redress schemes – designed to give people in rented homes a recognised place to take their complaints– by this week face fines of £5,000.
The schemes - run by the Property Ombudsman,...
9th October 2014
Proposed new tax rates will benefit first-time buyers and those at the lower end of the housing market, the Scottish government has claimed.
The rates for the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) – which will replace UK Stamp Duty Land Tax from April 2015 – have been announced as part of the Draft Scottish Budget 2015/16.
The tax, the first to be introduced by the Scottish parliament in 300 years, will only be payable on the portion of the total value which falls within each band...