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

BLOT ON THE LANDSCAPE

D. Robertson

Roof, Mar/Apr 2001, p.28-29

The Scottish Housing Bill includes provisions for a new secure tenancy, the abandonment of the improvement grant system, the abolition of Scottish Homes, the creation of a new single regulatory regime for social landlords and a restatement of the central role of local authorities. Core to these changes is the lubrication of stock transfers, particularly that of Glasgow.

CITY LIMITS?

S. Duckworth

Roof, Mar/Apr 2001, p.16

Argues that registered social landlords will need to raise £1.5 bn annually in private finance to invest in new homes, and an equivalent amount to invest in stock transferred from local authorities to back up increased government investment in social housing.

FOUNDATIONS FOR THE FUTURE

M. Thain

Housing, Feb 2001, p.30-31

Summarises the provisions of the Scottish Housing Bill, which covers: homelessness and the allocation of housing;

  • introduction of a single tenancy agreement for both local authorities and RSLs;
  • reforms to the right to buy for new tenants;
  • tenant participation;
  • the enhancement of local authorities strategic role;
  • a single framework of registration for both registered social landlords and council landlords;
  • the transfer of Scottish Homes functions to a new Executive Agency.

FUTURE HOUSING DIRECTIONS: A SURVEY OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES' STRATEGIC HOUSING ACTIVITIES

Local Government Association

London: IDEA, 2001

Survey of councils in England and Wales shows that 27% have already transferred their housing stock; a quarter are not planning any changes in housing management; 5% are only considering transfers to arms length management companies; 25% are considering either companies or PFI only and 12% stock transfer only. Eighty-two per cent of authorities recognise the need to integrate housing strategy with community development planning.

GOING, GOING, GONE...

E. Hawkey

Housing, Feb 2001, p.32-35

An investigation by Housing magazine has shown that council houses sold to tenants under the Right to Buy Scheme are often under-valued. This is contributing to the decimation of Britain's stock of affordable housing.

HOUSE CALLS

D. Walker

Guardian, Mar 8th 2001, p.25

Discusses Alan Holman's latest forecast which suggests that 230,000 newly built homes or conversions will be needed across England each year until at least 2016. With house prices rising, the need for affordable homes for rent is increasing. It is feared that only half of the 80-85,000 subsidised dwellings that are going to be needed each year for the next decade will be built resulting in worsening the overcrowding and housing standards in London. Article goes on to discuss the Council for Rural England (CRE) view on urban sprawl and the government's attempts to make council and housing association rents more market sensitive.

OUT IN THE COLD

M. Sayers

Roof, Mar/Apr 2001, p.18

The Scottish Housing Bill at present does little to address problems of climate change and fuel poverty. Campaigning groups are calling for a commitment to improve the energy efficiency of housing to be added to the Bill.

THE UK FUEL POVERTY STRATEGY: CONSULTATION DRAFT

Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

London: 2001

Sets targets for the eradication of fuel poverty through:

  • programmes to improve the energy efficiency of fuel poor households;
  • continuing action to maintain downward pressure on fuel bills, ensuring fair treatment for the less well off, and supporting the development of energy industry initiatives to combat fuel poverty;
  • continuing action to tackle poverty and social exclusion generally.

WAR ON WAFFLE

J. Goodwin

Roof, Mar/Apr 2001, p.20-22

Report of an interview with the Conservative shadow housing minister Archie Norman. He proposes reducing state spending on social housing by scrapping best value and the present government's neighbourhood renewal strategy, and accelerating the transfer of local authority stock to housing associations.