Click here to skip to content

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

ARE YOU CLEAR ABOUT THAT? INVESTMENT IN COUNCIL HOUSING: THE OPTIONS

J. Perry
Housing, May 1999, p.22-23

Brief overview of currently available options for securing investment in council housing. These include stock transfer, private finance initiatives and resource accounting.

AS I WAS SAYING ... BRAVE NEW WORLD?

J. Park
Housing and Planning Review, vol.54, April/May 1999, p.9

Argues that tenant impoverishment from high rents will only end when the government acts to bring rents down to an affordable level by increasing the grant rate to housing associations, allowing councils to invest and insisting that rent increases never exceed inflation. Otherwise the government's planned introduction of a flat rate housing benefit into a system where rents are too high will only increase social exclusion.

CORNWALL'S APPROACH TO SPECIAL NEEDS ACCOMMODATION: THE PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE OF JOINT WORKING

B. Mottart
Housing, Care and Support, vol.1, Dec. 1998, p.8-11

Cornwall Special Needs Accommodation Panel is an established partnership between six district council housing departments, social services, the district health authority and probation service. Its initial brief was twofold; to quantify unmet need for supported housing and to co-ordinate development. This paper charts progress.

COUNCIL HOUSING'S 'THIRD WAY'

M. Wilson
Municipal Journal, May 14th 1999, p.16-17

Early indications are that private finance initiative (PFI) schemes in housing offer better value than the normal social housing grant (SHG) route. There is still an increase in rent over current council levels, but the private sector provider also has to bear some deficits in the early years of a contract. Rents will be lower than those charged by registered social landlords (RSLs) under SHG schemes. Essential improvements can be undertaken and more can be achieved with available resources.

DEAR HILARY ...

National Council for Housing and Planning
Housing and Planning Review, vol.54, April/May 1999, p.22-23

This is the Council's full response to the DETR consultation paper 'A new financial framework for local authority housing'. Argues that it is more important to work towards a basis for rents which tenants would find fair than to continue to insist on increases in rents in order to reduce central government expenditure. It is important that local authorities should have repairs accounts to allow cyclical expenditure to be spread more evenly. It is vital that maintenance allowances are increased to improve current repair standards and the backlog of major repairs must be addressed sensibly. The consultation document does not deal adequately with these issues but continues to pressurise local authorities to dispose of their housing stock.

REVIEWING THE RIGHT TO BUY

C. Jones and A. Murie
Birmingham: School of Public Policy, University of Birmingham, 1999

The Right to Buy continues to have an impact. Current rates of sale are low compared with the recent past but much higher than before 1981. Future sales are likely to be concentrated in areas which are already mixed tenure with an established resale market, and are less likely to be in residualised estates. The continuing impact will be to further polarise estates without stabilising either.

A NEW FINANCIAL FRAMEWORK FOR LOCAL AUTHORITY HOUSING: RESOURCE ACCOUNTING IN THE HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT

Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions
London: 1998

Consultation paper seeks views on proposals to reform the financial framework for local authority housing in England by moving the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and the calculation of HRA subsidy to a resource accounting (or capital charging) basis. The reform is designed to measure, on a consistent basis, the resources used over the lifetime of authorities' housing assets, rather than, as at present, the cash spent on them each year. The main effect of the change would be seen in the replacement of capital financing costs based on historic debt with capital charges linked to the value and the cost of depreciation of the stock.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web