Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2002): Social Housing - UK

CHEAP AT THE PRICE?

B Crofton

Roof, Nov/Dec 2001, p 33

A proposed restructuring of council house rents will see them rise by about a sixth in real terms over the next ten years. However, the money will not be channelled into regeneration and no affordability protection is proposed for tenants in high cost areas. Funds for repairs and services to tenants will be allocated centrally through the management and maintenance allowance with no local discretion.

COUNCIL TENANTS FACE RENT RISES

D Walker

Guardian, Nov 5th 2001, p 11

Reports government plans to align council house rents more closely with private property values in the area. This entails a massive reorganisation of rents affecting 4 m households starting from April 2002. The DLTR will claw back a large part of the rent increases and may or may not redistribute the money in grants to fund improvements. However, the government does promise to cap increases in any given year.

EVICTIONS: WHO'S COUNTING?

M Delargy

Roof, Nov/Dec 2001, p 20-22

Housing Minister Lord Falconer has promised to compile more detailed statistical data about reasons for evictions from records hold in the Lord Chancellor's Department. However, he disputes claims that housing associations are abusing mandatory grounds for eviction under the Housing Act 1988 as a fast-track way of obtaining possession orders. He is not minded to change the law because the Housing Corporation already has powers to stamp out any such abuse.

FALLING THROUGH THE NET

C Tickell

Roof, Nov/Dec 2001, p 34

In 2003 new funding arrangements for support services for vulnerable people in housing need will be put in place. Local authorities will assume the responsibility for commissioning these services and paying for them out of a cash-limited grant from central government. As funding will be limited services will have to be rationed and people with unusual needs may lose out.

GUIDANCE OUTLINES POLICY'S FIRST STAGE

A U Sale

Community Care, Nov 1st-7th 2001, p. 20

Reports the publication of guidance on the implementation of the Supporting People Programme which transfers responsibility for housing-related support from a centrally funded housing benefit system to individual local authorities' ring-fenced budgets.

HOMES FOR ALL

K Livingstone

Public Finance, Nov 2nd-8th 2001, p 17.

The London Mayor explains how he is using the planning system to increase the provision of affordable housing for low and middle income people in London.

LAST SUPPER?

E Hawkey

Roof, Nov/Dec 2001, p 26-27

From April 2002, all social landlords must begin a 10-year programme to restructure rents, using a new formula based on property values and local earnings. This will force rents down in many poorer areas, particularly in the North of England and the Midlands. Falls in rents will impact particularly severely on Black and Minority Ethnic housing associations, which do not have large cash reserves and are often servicing expensive loans. They may be forced to merge with mainstream white associations, so losing their identity.

(See also Housing, Nov 2001, p 29-31)

MILLAR TIME

P McCurry

Housing, Oct 2001, p 16-18

Discusses the transformation of the national housing agency Scottish Homes into Communities Scotland. The new agency will have the remit of tackling community regeneration through neighbourhood renewal, housing investment and capacity building in local communities.

MODERNIZATION AND CHANGE IN SOCIAL HOUSING: THE CASE FOR AN ORGANIZATIONAL PERSPECTIVE

D Mullins, B Reid and K M Walker

Public Administration, vol 79, 2001, p 599-623

The governance and organisation of the social housing sector has moved away from the single model of the traditional hierarchical form of organising which typified the British public sector towards a menu of new combined forms of governance and co-ordination. These draw on hierarchy, but also on market and network principles. Options from this menu for organising are deliberately selected to suit particular objectives and opportunities. Instead of the local authority acting as the single local agent for delivering central government housing programmes, there are now looser alliances of agencies, engaged in both co-operative and competitive relationships with each other and with varying degrees of allegiance to the local authority as strategist or enabler.

NEW DEAL DOWN ON THE FARM

I Hunter

Housing, Oct 2001, p 30-33

Describes how the tenant-led March Farm Community Development Trust is using a £43.6 million grant from the New Deal for Communities programme to improve their estate in Luton.

REASSESSING VOLUNTARY ACTION IN ENGLISH HOUSING PROVISION POST 1900

P L Garside

Journal of Social Policy, vol 30, 2001, p 613-636

Article considers relationships between central government, local authorities, the private sector and voluntary organisations in housing provision from 1900 to the 1970s. Focuses on the experience of the William Sutton Trust, England's largest house building charity, and the homelessness charity Shelter. In these case studies, the role of the courts, charity commissioners, government legal officers, ministries responsible for housing, Parliament and local authorities are discussed..

UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT?

N Merrick

Public Finance, Oct 26th-Nov 1st 2001, p 22-23

In 2000 Coventry City Council transferred its entire housing stock to a bespoke housing company, Whitefriars. The new company has borrowed money to finance a £240m refurbishment programme lasting six years. The council retains responsibility for housing benefit, homelessness and housing strategy and continues to work closely with Whitefriars, to which many of the Housing Department staff transferred.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web