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

Best value, cost-effectiveness and local housing policies

C. Jones and H. Pawson

Policy Studies, vol. 30, 2009, p. 455-471

This article illustrates and evaluates the use of the concept of cost-effectiveness with respect to local housing policy in England. It addresses this task by examining its application to two contemporary housing policy innovations: choice-based lettings and homelessness prevention. The research assesses the costs and benefits of these policies to local public agencies through a series of case studies. It demonstrates that increased public expenditure to prevent homelessness or introduce choice-based lettings can be cost-effective.

Bringing it home

J. Perry

Public finance, July 17th-23rd 2009, p. 22-25

As part of its Building Britain's Future programme, the New Labour government is encouraging councils to once again build social housing alongside housing associations. It is also proposing far reaching reforms of the council housing finance system. These include allowing local authorities to keep receipts from sales of council houses under the right to buy scheme and the redistribution of council housings 17bn historic debt among all housing authorities.

Reform of council housing finance

Department for Communities and Local Government

London: 2009

This consultation paper recommends: 1) strengthening the housing revenue account ring fence; 2) allowing housing authorities to use 100% of right-to-buy receipts; 3) giving the Tenant Services Authority powers to control rents and delve into value for money; and 4) abolition of housing subsidy. Under the latter proposal, individual housing authorities would neither pay into nor receive from the national pool. Instead, each housing authority would have to take on a share of the national housing debt.

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