25th November 2013
Residents of Northampton are being asked if they would like to see more powers used to tackle rogue landlords.
Presently Northampton Borough Council only has the power to license three-storey houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). The local authority's proposed new powers would see the same rules and standards applied to HMOs of all sizes.
Under the proposed powers, the council would be able to make landlords accountable for the actions of their tenants, covering anti-social behaviour such as...
22nd November 2013
A bill that will end right to buy and improve the quality of rented housing has been introduced in parliament.
The measures in the Housing (Scotland) Bill are aimed at improving property conditions and retaining social housing.
The Scottish government says the abolishment of right to buy will prevent the sale of up to 15,500 social housing properties over the next 10 years.
The Bill will also establish a private rented sector tribunal which will provide tenants and landlords with access to speciali...
21st November 2013
Nearly half of Edinburgh's council tenants hit by the bedroom tax have not applied for extra help to pay their rent.
According to Edinburgh Council's housing leader, cllr Cammy Day, only around 1,500 of the 3,000 tenants affected by the controversial under-occupancy policy have applied for help through DHPs (discretionary housing payments).
The Council was awarded extra funds from the Scottish government in September, bringing the total available for DHPs to over £3 million.
Recent figures from the counci...
20th November 2013
The launch of the Housing (Wales) Bill has been hailed by the Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru as a momentous occasion that finally cuts the policy umbilical cord with Westminster.
According to the CIH, the Bill contains diverse, Welsh-crafted solutions to improve consumer protection, raise standards across all sectors and protect the most vulnerable and disadvantaged citizens by prioritising homelessness reduction.
In particular, CIH Cymru supports:
• The focus on building new homes, ...
15th November 2013
The government's proposed changes to the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill could have catastrophic results for some victims, the Chartered Institute of Housing has warned.
And the CIH believes the planned alterations, due to be discussed in the House of Lords next week, will also make it more difficult and costly for landlords to tackle anti-social behaviour and could increase homelessness.
The CIH has now written to the Lords committee considering the Bill to highlight its concerns abo...
13th November 2013
A parliamentary bid to end the government's controversial bedroom tax lost by 26 votes yesterday.
During hours of debate, Labour's Rachel Reeve, the shadow work and pensions secretary, said that should her party win the 2015 election, her first move would be to abolish the under occupancy policy.
She urged members of the coalition to join Labour in its attempt to overturn the widely condemned sanction, that sees social housing tenants docked up to 25% of their housing benefit if they are deemed ...
12th November 2013
An overcrowding test must be applied to new housing developments in the capital, according to London assembly member Andrew Boff.
Tory Boff has claimed that the issue should become a key factor when planning decisions are made, and developers should specifically demonstrate how their new housing projects will address overcrowding in London.
Boff said: “Around 120,000 households live in overcrowded conditions in social housing alone, including 70,000 children. It is therefore vital that we ma...
4th November 2013
EU member states are being urged to develop ambitious plans for retrofitting their buildings.
With just six months remaining until they are required to deliver long-term strategies on renovation, the World Green Building Council’s Europe Regional Network - of which the UK Green Building Council is a member - and the Renovate Europe Campaign are calling on EU nations to publish strategies that will help ensure investment in jobs and growth, and help deliver lower energy bills for strugglin...
4th November 2013
Northern Ireland's Helm Housing has been reinstated to the Social Housing Development Programme.
A final review carried out by the Department for Social Development’s Housing inspection team reported that all issues identified in an inspection in May 2013 have now been addressed and that Helm “has continued to make good progress through active involvement with the board and due diligence by the development team."
Welcoming the DSD's announcement, Liz Cuddy, Helm's chair, said: “Tod...
31st October 2013
The UK's growth will suffer from attempts to curb rising house prices by hitting foreign property investors with new taxes, the British Property Federation has warned.
The BPF voiced its concerns amid fears that chancellor George Osborne is considering levying capital gains tax on foreign investors to tackle rising house prices in London and the South East.
However, the BPF has claimed that the main reason for the high cost of homes was the lack of supply, not foreign buyers, and warned that pena...