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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 1999): Social Housing - UK

BEST VALUE IN HOUSING FRAMEWORK: CONSULTATION PAPER

Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions London: 1999.

Papers outlines what local housing authorities will need to do in applying the best value statutory framework to housing, taking into account the relationship between best value and the existing Housing Investment Programme process and the role of tenants and residents.

CALL CENTRES

A Martin and S. Margon
Housing, Feb. 1999, p. 36-39

Call centres and the IT that supports them are revolutionising the way housing providers deal with their customers. Article examines the debate on telephone access and reports on five organisations offering telephone services.

DISABILITY AND DEPENDENCY: ORIGINS AND FUTURES OF 'SPECIAL NEEDS' HOUSING FOR DISABLED PEOPLE

J. Stewart, J. Harris and B. Sapey
Disability and Society, vol. 14, 1999, p. 5-20.

Article argues that the shift in funding of public housing from a 'bricks and mortar' subsidy of the dwelling itself to Housing Benefit potentially creates greater welfare dependency. This amounts to a policy contradiction in which the government is both stigmatising disabled people for being dependent whilst simultaneously being the cause of that dependency.

HOUSING BEGINS TO SHIFT TO COMMUNITY OWNERSHIP

V. Rodrick
Municipal Journal, Feb 26 1999, p. 9.

Reports that up to a quarter of Scotland's council housing could be transferred to community ownership over the next three years under the government's New Housing Partnership Programme. Public and private investment totalling almost £500 million is expected to provide 5,000 new homes, improve 2,500 more and create around 9,000 jobs.

HOUSING BENEFIT MAY BECOME TAX CREDIT

P. Hetherington
Guardian, March 15th 1999, p. 5.

Reports that ministers are considering scrapping housing benefit for low-income claimants in work, and replacing it with a tax credit system to curb the rapidly rising cost of the welfare budget.

MAKING CONSUMERS COUNT: TENANT PARTICIPATION: THE NEXT FIVE YEARS

Housing Corporation
London: 1998

Paper presents proposals for ensuring that tenants of Registered Social Landlords (RSLS) have effective opportunities to participate in the management of their homes.

OPTIONS FOR HOUSING BENEFIT REFORM

I. Wilson
Housing, Feb. 1999, p. 42.

Suggests the system could be improved by addressing the problem of fluctuating incomes, increasing the earnings disregard and allowing the automatic continuation of housing benefit for four weeks after starting work.

POWER TO THE PEOPLE

R. Fraser and M. Lupton
Housing, Feb. 1999, p. 22-25

Compares and contrasts different approaches of the Housing Corporation and the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions to tenant participation. The DETR proposes that every housing authority should draw up a housing compact with a representative group of tenants. Authorities are expected to offer tenants options for involvement ranging from enabling individual tenants to express views on services, through tenant participation in landlord service planning decisions, to direct tenant control of service delivery. In contrast, the Housing Corporation concentrates on the participation of tenants as consumers in setting service standards.

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