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Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2002): SSocial Housing - UK

AFFORDABLE HOUSING GAP

Guardian Society, September 25th 2002, p. 119

The "right to buy" has meant a net loss of more than 750,000 affordable homes in England, according to housing charity Shelter. Between 1980 and last year, 1,473,752 homes were sold to tenants but only 708,803 new units of social housing were built.

BEYOND BRICKS AND MORTAR: BRINGING REGENERATION INTO STOCK TRANSFER

London: Chartered Institute of Housing, 2002

Proposes transferring individual council house estates to housing associations rather than the whole of a city's stock. The housing association should then work to ensure that the transfer leads to the regeneration of the whole neighbourhood, not just an improvement in the housing. At the same time, tenants should be more closely involved in the process.

THE BURNING ISSUE OF RIGHT TO BUY

J. Park

Axis, Sept-Oct. 2002, p. 20

Argues that failure to allow local authorities to invest the proceeds of sales of council houses to tenants in new building has contributed to the present national shortage of affordable housing.

THE HOLE TRUTH

M. Weaver

Guardian Society, October 2nd 2002, p. 4

Up to 20 private companies across London are making large profits by exploiting loopholes in the right-to-buy rules for council homes, according to the first attempt to research the subject. The unpublished research by the London Housing Unit, a council housing think tank, suggests tenants are being offered cash incentives of as much as £25,000 by private companies, which then let the homes at market rents.

HOME HELP FOR KEYWORKERS

N. Merrick

Public Finance, Sept. 20th-26th 2002, p. 26-28

The Starter Homes Initiative was launched in September 2002 and aims to help 10, 000 key public sector workers over three years. Assistance is normally in the form of either interest free loans to help fund the purchase of a property, equity loans that are repaid only when a property is sold, or shared ownership schemes.

PLAN TO EXTEND RIGHT-TO-BUY TO HOUSING ASSOCIATION TENANTS

J. Eaglesham

Financial Times, October 9th 2002, p. 4

A Conservative government would extend the right-to-buy their homes to more than a million housing association tenants, shadow Deputy Prime Minister David Davis announced yesterday.

PLANNING GAIN AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING

T. Crook and others

York: YPS, 2002

Land allocation and some elements of funding are tightly linked through planning obligations. Section 106 of the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act sets out the mechanism for achieving affordable housing through the planning system. Most housing achieved through S. 106 is in high cost areas in the South East, where it is likely to be social housing for rent, commonly separated from the market housing on the site. In the North and Midlands S. 106 is used to produce improved tenure and community mix through forms of low cost home ownership. The policy has not increased the total amount of social housing provided.

PRESCOTT PLEDGES TO RESTRICT COUNCIL HOME SALES

K. Guha

Financial Times, October 1st 2002, p. 4

The right to buy council homes will be severely curtailed in property hot spots, John Prescott told Labour's annual party conference. He said it would be irresponsible not to act in areas where "exploitation and abuses of the system exist".

RUSH TO BUY COUNCIL HOMES BEFORE PRESCOTT CLAMPDOWN

P. Thornton

The Independent, October 11th 2002, p. 1

In some parts of Britain the number of tenants applying to buy their council homes has tripled in three months, according to a survey of councils, after suggestions that their right to do so could soon be abolished.

SOCIAL WELFARE MOVEMENTS AND COLLECTIVE ACTION: LESSONS FROM TWO UK HOUSING CASES

M. Harrison and K. Reeve

Housing Studies, vol. 17, 2002, p. 755-771

Paper draws on studies of the black and minority ethnic voluntary housing movement and of the squatters movement in London to develop some perspectives on the aims, characteristics and interpretation of "Social Welfare Movements" in the period since 1960.

SPLIT DECISIONS

M. Britton

Housing, Oct. 2002, p. 30-31

The New Labour government has sought to increase tenant involvement in housing management through participation compacts and best value. However, other policies have increased central control and decreased tenant choice. These include the decent homes standard, rent restructuring and the promotion of large scale stock transfers.

TURNING UP THE HEAT

D. Gilliver

Housing, Oct. 2002, p. 14-17

Describes to work of the pressure group Defend Council Housing in opposing large scale transfers of local authority stock to housing associations.

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