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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2009): Social housing - UK

Feeling the chill

T. Marshall

Roof, Jan./Feb. 2009, p.28-31

More buy-to-let landlords are falling into mortgage arrears due to falling rents and rising costs of repayments as fixed-rate deals come to an end. This is leading to a rise in repossession hearings and to properties being sold at auction by lenders, bypassing the courts. Once a property has been sold, the buyer can evict tenants as trespassers. With more than a million families now housed in buy-to-let properties, the risk of a steep rise in evictions is very real.

On the edge

J. Birch

Roof, Jan./Feb. 2009, p. 18-21

This article discusses the effect of the credit crunch on housing association finances. Housing associations are being hit by falling demand for low-cost home ownership schemes and more stringent terms imposed by banks on loans. This will make it much more challenging for associations to raise finance for affordable housing development. However, cuts in interest rates and VAT should help.

The 'responsible' tenant and the problem of apathy

K. McKee

Social Policy and Society, vol. 8, 2009, p. 25-36

Tenant participation in social housing management has been promoted by the New Labour government as a 'self-evidently good thing'. It has emerged as a 'moral' project, from which opting out is not to be allowed. Consequently, those tenants who choose not to participate have been labelled problematic and identified as needing to be 'empowered' through professional interventions. This paper explores these issues through a case study of community ownership of social housing in Glasgow. It calls for a rejection of the moral discourse underpinning tenant participation, and for housing policy to respect the rights of tenants to choose how they become involved, if at all.

Save 100,000 homes from repossession

Centre for Policy Studies, 2009

Concludes that government measures to help home owners who have fallen behind with their mortgage payments are unlikely to rescue many people. It suggests that 100,000 extra households could be saved from losing their home if the courts allowed mortgage repossession orders to be suspended over a period considered 'reasonable'.

Scamming the students

B. Miller and R. Shanks

Roof, Jan./Feb. 2009, p. 46-47

A holding deposit is the sum a prospective tenant pays to a letting agent in return for an agreement to keep the property for them. Letting agents are now making unfair profits by refusing to return these deposits when tenancy negotiations fall through.

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