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

ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS

S Mckenzie

Housing, July/Aug 2002, p. 18-20

Discusses plans and strategies launched by social landlords to root out institutional racism in the housing sector. Focuses on action to improve the position of black and minority ethnic people both in housing allocation and in employment in the sector.

BITTER HARVEST

B Randall

Housing, July/August 2002, p.27-28

The acute shortage of affordable housing poses a threat to the cohesion of rural communities. Local people on modest incomes are squeezed out of the market by commuters, second home owners and wealthy retired people. Article looks at local responses from Suffolk and Gloucestershire.

COMPACT CASE

M Britton

Housing, July/August 2002, p. 34-35

Reports on the impact of local authority tenant participation compacts introduced in 1999. Argues that some consultations have been cosmetic and that tenants have had limited impact on actual decision making.

CULTURAL REVOLUTION

N Sweet

Community Care, July 25th-31st 2002, p. 40

From April 2003 local commissioning groups consisting of representatives from local authority housing and social services, probation and health, will commission and monitor support services provided by housing organisations. These will still own the physical buildings and be responsible for landlord services.

FRIT ON THE HOME FRONT

J Kumpfner

Guardian, July 31st 2002, p. 15

Argues that council tenants exercising their right to buy their homes are causing a shortage of affordable rented housing for key public service workers such as nurses and teachers.

HULL CENSORED FOR SQUANDERING MILLIONS

J Sherman

The Times, July 30th 2002, p. 4

Three years ago Hull City Council was labelled the richest authority in England after selling the local telephone company. Now the council faces financial ruin after being condemned by the Audit Commission for squandering its money on early retirement payments, and expensive in-house services and for investing in council houses at a time of dwindling demand.

LABOUR TO HALT RIGHT TO BUY

D Walker

The Guardian, July 29th 2002, p. 1

The rights of tens of thousands of council tenants to buy their homes at a discount is to be suspended as council house sales are eroding the stock of for affordable homes. In a dramatic reversal of policy the deputy prime minister, John Prescott, said council house sales were undermining authorities targets for new affordable homes.

LOCAL AUTHORITY HOUSING STOCK TRANSFER IN THE UK: FROM LOCAL INITIATIVE TO NATIONAL POLICY

P Malpass and D Mullins

Housing Studies, vol. 17, 2002, p. 673-686

Paper traces the development of housing stock transfer from a local initiative at its inception in 1988 to a central plank of government policy for housing in the UK. Briefly considers the impact of the policy on the non-profit housing sector, on local authorities and on the key policy issues of rents and access to social housing.

LOW POLITICS, HIGH STAKES

J Perry

Public Finance, July 26th-August 1st 2002, p. 24-25

Argues that the new financial freedoms offered to councils in the Local Government Bill will not allow them to raise enough money to refurbish their housing stock. The combination of the new subsidy arrangements in the Bill and the rent policy introduced in 2001 squeezes out any scope councils had to decide locally how much to charge and how much to spend.

NHS PLANS TO HOUSE LONDON NURSES IN ARMY BARRACKS

R Sylvester

Daily Telegraph, August 8th 2002, p. 2

Reports plans for army barracks and married quarters in central London to be sold cheaply to the Department of Health for use as affordable housing for nurses. The plan is part of a package of emergency measures to deal with a housing crisis among key public sector workers caused by rising property prices in the South East.

NO LONGER RIGHT TO BUY

S Regan

Financial Times, August 7th 2002, p. 15

Argues that sales of council housing to sitting tenants is now seriously depleting stock. Proposes replacing the "right to buy" with equity stakes. Tenants could get a direct share in the equity of their home which would increase over time, or earn a share in their landlord's overall equity, or gain a financial reward linked to their tenancy. Equity stakes could operate as a national scheme or one with a high degree of local control.

SOCIAL HOUSING AGENCIES AND THE GOVERNANCE OF ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

J Flint

Housing Studies, vol. 17, 2002, p. 619-637

Paper seeks to use key concepts of Foucault's governmentality theory to examine social housing agencies' interventions relating to anti-social behaviour by tenants and to place their emerging role within wider trends in local urban governance. They may be seen to construct territories and populations, and to attempt to exert disciplinary power by classifying individuals in relation to constructed norms of conduct. In doing so they utilise a range of levers, including the "responsibilisation" of tenants, the construction of multi-agency "assemblages" of governance, and the encouragement of self-regulating communities.

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