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Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2010): Social housing - UK

Benefits cuts 'will forlce poor out of the south'

R. Ramesh and A. Sparrow

The Guardian, Nov. 8th 2010, p. 1

Research carried out by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) shows that before 2025 rents on most two bedroom properties in the south of England will become unaffordable to those claiming local housing allowance, with much of London commuter belt becoming unaffordable within 15 years. The findings echo those of a study by Cambridge University showing that by 2018 only 5% of dwellings will remain affordable for those claiming housing benefits in Manchester.

Local decisions: a fairer future for social housing consultation

Department for Communities and Local Government

London: 2010

This document sets out the Government's plans for radical reform of the social housing system. It proposes changes on tenure, the management of waiting lists, and the homelessness duty. It also covers the introduction of a new 'affordable rent' tenancy and changes to the system of council housing finance. It includes measures to improve mobility, and tackle overcrowding and under-occupation. The reforms will ensure that social landlords can make better use of social housing and target support where it is needed most. For new tenants, the Government will give councils and housing associations the freedom to grant fixed term tenancies, as well as lifetime tenancies. These fixed term tenancies will be at social rent levels and provide another option for landlords and tenants alongside the new Affordable Rent tenancies. The new fixed term tenancies will have a minimum time period of at least two years, but no maximum time period, so landlords can provide a length of tenancy that takes account of the needs of individual tenants and the local community - be that 10 years, 20 years, or longer.

URL: http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/pdf/1775577.pdf

Thousands left living in derelict streets as massive housing project is scrapped

R. Booth

The Guardian, Nov. 18th 2010, p. 16

Tens of thousands of residents in England's poorest communities are trapped in streets filled with demolished or boarded-up houses after a 5bn Whitehall housing renewal project was cancelled. Terraced homes in parts of Birmingham, Salford, Teesside, Merseyside, Lancashire and Yorkshire, were due to be refurbished or demolished and replaced with new houses, but the Pathfinder scheme was halted as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review.

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