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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2011): Social housing - UK

'Every tenant matters'? The new governance of social housing in England

C. Victory and P. Malpass

Housing Studies, vol. 26, 2011, p. 449-458

This paper focuses on the implications of the reforms contained in the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 for social housing. The Act followed a series of reviews of aspects of housing policy commissioned by the Westminster government between 2004 and 2007. Under the Act, responsibility for funding social housing was separated from the regulatory role, after 30 years during which they had been combined within the Housing Corporation. The reforms aimed to generate more competition for housing associations through greater private sector involvement in the development and management of social housing. On the other hand, they also sought to develop a more tenant oriented approach to regulation.

Hidden healthcare

R. Johnson

Mental Health Today, Apr. 2011, p. 14-17

This article calls for better recognition of the contribution that social housing staff make to the mental health of vulnerable tenants. Staff in social housing are often left to deal with mental health problems that the NHS never sees, partly because sufferers will not go to the doctor for help.

Homing instincts

J. Perry

Public Finance, Apr. 2011, p. 38-42

Almost 2 million households in England are in some category of housing need. This is due to a decline in private building since the 2007 credit crunch which has only partly been offset by growth in the social sector; to the need for first time buyers to find bigger deposits; and to a rise in the number of overcrowded households. The coalition government appears to be relying on an increase in new private building to solve the problem, but developers are unlikely to start building new homes in large numbers while the market is sluggish. As regards social housing, house building by councils will largely stop after 2011 due to investment cuts, while activity by housing associations will be severely curtailed. This is to make way for the Affordable Rent programme, which will allow social landlords to offer fixed-term tenancies on rents of up to 80% of market rate, and use the profits to build new homes. Government has also launched a New Homes Bonus, which gives communities a financial incentive to agree to new house building, and the Community Right to Build, which will allow local people to decide what new housing to build and where, and has loosened planning controls. However this housing policy model is untested and whether it will produce more housing is unknown.

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