I. Cole, S Kane and D. Robinson
Sheffield: Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, Sheffield Hallam University, 1999
Report proposes that unpopular social housing estates in Northern England, where industry has declined or disappeared, should be demolished rather than regenerated. Many housing associations have carried on developing new properties in areas in economic decline where the population has moved out in search of work, and consequently there is no demand for them.
Housing, Dec./Jan. 2000, p.16-17
Two decades ago many UK councils used 'homesteading' schemes to offload empty properties at little or no cost. Describes renewed interest in homesteading in both the UK and the US.
The available evidence shows that people who are homeless are more likely to drift into crime than those with stable accommodation, and that people who have committed offences are more likely to offend if they leave prison without a home. Proposes policy changes that could reduce homelessness and the crime associated with it. These include:
Roof, Jan./Feb. 2000, p.10-11
There is clear evidence that mixed communities are created by physical tenure integration, ie by tenants and owner occupiers living side by side on the same street. Such mixed estates have generally avoided the downward spiral into deprivation that has afflicted many social housing estates.
Roof, Jan./Feb. 2000, p.28-30
Social landlords are beginning to assume the role of offering repair and maintenance services to home owners. Article reports on some pilot schemes.
Guardian, Jan. 24th 2000, p.6
Reports radical plans by the government for local authorities to hive off all council housing within 10 years to non-profit making companies. With the condition council housing worsening by the day, authorities are unable to provide sufficient funds for modernisation. Under Treasury rules, they are prevented from using assets, or future income from rents, as security to borrow on the open market. Better properties have largely been sold off to tenants under the right-to-buy policy, leaving councils with older, poorly maintained homes. Ministers believe that redevelopment by housing associations could turn these round.
Axis, Dec. 1999/Jan. 2000, p.6-7
Argues that if rents for social housing were to be set at levels which covered costs to some extent, and which related to capital values, they would be unaffordable. Makes a case for steepening rent structures, ie charging more for three and four bedroom dwellings and less for bedsits, and for modifying the house benefit system to give people some choice about where they live.
Roof, Jan./Feb. 2000, p.23-35
Argues that reforming social housing rents so that they are based on capital values with a private sector rate of return could bankrupt tenants in the South and landlords in the North. In order to keep rents affordable and to ensure that social landlords receive sufficient income to support new provision, maintenance and improvement, government subsidies will be required.
D. Cowan, R. Gilroy and C. Pantazis
Journal of Law and Society, vol. 26, 1999, p.403-426
It is commonly suggested that social housing is allocated on the basis of need. Article suggests that the concept of risk provides a much better explanation of the interplay of interests involved in the allocation process. In particular, risk explains developing allocation methods in low demand areas.
Roof, Jan./Feb. 2000, p.17
Major housing associations should pay their board members to ensure the best possible people are in place to advise and lead the modern social businesses they have become.
Housing, Dec./Jan. 2000, p.18-20
Describes the work of the Empty Homes Agency, an organisation set up to highlight the waste of England's empty homes and to find and promote solutions.