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24dash.com articles

Private landlords demand council delays licensing scheme

26th March 2015

A private landlords group is demanding that Liverpool City Council postpones the launch of a city-wide licensing scheme. According to the National Landlords Association (NLA), the scheme's current application process - which is due to go live on 1 April - will put every landlord in Liverpool in breach of the law. The NLA also claims that the current online application process provided by the council does not meet legal requirements to allow landlords to comply with the new scheme, which would make...

Opinion: The Tories want to destroy the social housing sector. Don’t let them do it

24th March 2015

By Max Salsbury, 24dash reporter Are you planning on voting for the Conservative Party at the coming election?  It’s a free country; you can vote for whom you please, and I’m not going to stop you. How could I?  Or perhaps you’ll vote for Ukip. Again, that’s your choice. I think it’d be a very, very bad choice; in fact an awful choice. Actually, it’s a dangerous choice, but it’s your right – so do as you will. But anyway, these Tories. ...

Tory right to buy changes will 'devastate rural social housing'

24th March 2015

Tory Party plans to extend the controversial right to buy policy to 2.5 million housing association properties could devastate the social sector in rural communities, a social landlord has warned. According to Hastoe Group, the right to buy is one of the reasons that rural communities currently have so little social housing available - 12% compared to 19% in urban environments. The housing provider, which owns over 6,000 homes in southern England, says that new proposals are likely to disproportion...

Opinion: The NHF should be wary of sharing a platform with Policy Exchange

24th March 2015

By Colin Wiles, housing blogger and SHOUT campaigner Last November one of the Conservatives’ favourite think tanks, Policy Exchange, published a report titled ‘Freeing Housing Associations’.  It called for associations to be set free to buy and  sell properties as they please, to set rents as they please and to house whomsoever they please, with a very “light touch” level of regulation.  The report argued that historic grant should be sold to housin...

Developers must provide 50% 'affordable' housing, says council

23rd March 2015

Croydon Council has said that residential developments built outside of the town centre will be required to provide a minimum 50% 'affordable' housing. From 1 April, council policy will state that half of all the bedrooms where there are 10 or more homes are in 'affordable' housing units. The minimum level is currently 30% but the local plan policy allows this to be reviewed each year in response to market changes. And developments within the town centre that offer less than 50% affordable hou...

HCA: The VfM questions all associations should be able to answer

23rd March 2015

By Matthew Bailes, director of regulation, Homes and Communities Agency  The debate on the value for money offered by the housing association sector is a long running saga.  Our latest set of regulatory judgements may be the most recent chapter, but it won’t be the final one. The problem is simple.  Customers cannot shop around and there are no shareholders to demand efficiencies and higher returns.  Given weaker incentives, how can stakeholders (not least the taxpayer) be as...

TCPA says lack of consensus is damaging planning system

19th March 2015

The weak and deregulated British planning system has split the private and public sectors, making it essential for the next government to re-build a cross-sector consensus on the core objectives of the planning process, the Town & Country Planning Association says. Meeting at its spring conference, the TCPA launched a report Thursday which found that the deregulation of the planning system has created a stark disparity between those in the private sector who welcomed several aspects of the re...

Housing benefit cut could increase youth homelessness

17th March 2015

Plans to ban 18 to 21-year-olds on jobseeker’s allowance from claiming housing benefit would save taxpayers just £3 million rather than the government's estimated £120m while also increasing youth homelessness, new research has discovered. Heriot-Watt University and campaign group End Youth Homelessness’ report – ‘Lifeline not Lifestyle’ - reveals that not only would savings be negligible, but that only 140 additional young people than already estimated by the...

‘Revenge eviction’ bill passed

16th March 2015

The House of Lords has this afternoon passed a law banning so-called ‘revenge evictions’. Passed as part of the Deregulation Bill, the new law will prohibit landlords from evicting tenants who complain about conditions in their homes. Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather attempted to ban revenge evictions with a private members’ bill last year. Though Teather’s attempt failed, the Lords picked it up and tagged it on to the Deregulation Bill. According to housing charity Shel...

Council approves new regime to protect 3,500 PRS tenants

13th March 2015

Islington Council has given the green light for a new licensing regime that will protect around 3,500 tenants in the private rented sector (PRS). Last night, the council's executive approved the scheme that will aim to tackle high rates of poor property management in shared homes on Holloway Road and Caledonian Road. The move comes after council officers surveyed houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) in both roads last year and found problems in more than two thirds of the properties surveyed. Over ...

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