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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2001): Social Housing - UK

DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES AND WORKING ARRANGEMENTS

Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

London: 2000

Presents proposals for discussion on how the Supporting People programme might be implemented in practice by local authorities. Covers issues of strategic planning, cross-authority arrangements, mapping local needs, evaluation and monitoring of services, and purchasing arrangements.

FOCUS ON ARCHIE NORMAN

E. Hawkey

Housing, Dec./Jan. 2001, p. 18-21

Conservative policies on social housing involve accelerated transfers of stock from council ownership into a revitalised RSL (registered social landlord) sector, the performance of which will be strictly monitored.

HOMES FOR A WORLD CITY: THE REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S HOUSING COMMISSION

London: Greater London Authority, 2000

Proposes a target of 28,000 affordable homes a year for London for the next 10 years should be set. This includes 20,500 social rented homes a year to meet the needs of people on low incomes and 7,500 intermediate homes for people on moderate incomes who cannot afford to buy at market prices.

HOMES SUBSIDY FOR KEY WORKERS

P. Hetherington

Guardian, Dec. 14th 2000, p. 12

Describes Starter Homes initiative which will provide essential workers such as nurses and teachers with government subsidies of up to £25,000 to help buy their first home. There will be interest-free top-up loans, cash for deposits and help with shared ownership schemes. The scheme will operate in areas with demonstrable recruitment and retention difficulties.

(See also Financial Times, Dec. 13th 2000, p. 2)

HURDLES HOLD UP HOUSING COMPANIES

N. Merrick

Public Finance, Jan. 5th-11th 2001, p. 12

Describes the tortuous path local authorities must follow to set up an arm's length housing management company.

RAISING THE ROOF

N. Merrick

Public Finance, Dec. 8th-14th, 2000, p. 22-23

The number and scope of council house stock transfers to registered social landlords is rising. These, however, have to raise large loans from financial institutions to pay for repairs.

A REAL FUTURE FOR SOCIAL HOUSING

B. Brady

Axis, Dec. 2000/Jan. 2001, p. 12-13

Summarises stock options available to local authorities. These are: continue to manage their own housing stock; transfer it to a registered social landlord; transfer it to a local housing company; or set up an arms length company.

RIGHT TO CHOOSE?

P. Williams

Roof, Jan./Feb. 2001, p. 13

Council house tenants voting in stock transfer ballots need accurate and unbiased information about their options.

RSLs WIN RIGHT TO RAISE RENTS ABOVE RATE OF INFLATION

N. Merrick

Public Finance, Dec. 15th 2000 - Jan. 4th 2001, p. 8

Plans to impose a rent framework on registered social landlords that would have fixed increases to the retail price index have been abandoned in favour of a formula of RPI + 0.5% to be applied from April 2002. At present RSLs can raise rents by RPI + 1%.

SOCIAL EXCLUSION AND PUBLIC SECTOR HOUSING POLICY IN SCOTLAND

S. Alvey

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 20, no. 5/6, 2000, p. 72-94

The Scottish Housing Green Paper and the policy on social inclusion are co-ordinated to the extent that both focus on issues of multiple deprivation and propose the same forms of action based on community empowerment through tenant involvement in housing management. However it stresses the shortcomings of local authority housing and its tenants while not addressing the problems with other tenures in the same deprived neighbourhoods.

THIRD WAY FOR COUNCIL HOUSING

S. Cirell and J. Bennett

Public Finance, Dec. 1st-7th 2000, p. 28

Proposes a new model for raising money to repair the deteriorating council housing stock in the shape of a special purpose housing company. Properties would be leased to the company who would then appoint the local authority as landlord. The housing company, meanwhile, could borrow money for repairs using a rent stream as security.

THE WAY FORWARD FOR HOUSING

Department of the Environment Transport and the Regions and Department of Social Security

2000

Sets out measures to raise standards in housing benefit administration. Proposes development of an expert team to help struggling local authorities and introduction of a performance framework that will link council performance to funding.