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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2003): Social Housing - UK

CLAMPDOWN ON COUNCIL HOUSE SALES

P Hetherington

The Guardian, January 23rd 2003, p.8

New measures to curb council house sales and clamp down on unscrupulous agents exploiting the right-to-buy system were unveiled yesterday by the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott. Maximum discounts for tenants buying their council houses will be cut from £38,000 to £16,000 in 41 areas of London and the South-east, where many on average incomes are priced out of the housing market.

(See alsoThe Daily Telegraph, January 23rd 2003, p.10; the Independent, January 23rd 2003, p.10)

HEALTHY HOMES, HEALTHIER LIVES: HEALTH IMPROVEMENT THROUGH HOUSING RELATED INITIATIVES AND SERVICES

L Easterbrook

Nottingham: Care and Repair England, 2002

Argues that housing adaptations should be an essential part of the government's agenda for enabling older and disabled people to remain in independent accommodation. Reviews the ways in which primary care trusts and home improvement agencies work together to address this issue. Schemes and services reviewed involve training, safety audits, falls prevention, intermediate care and hospital discharge. Report aims to provide planners, commissioners and service providers with models for the development of local initiatives.

MEETING THE HOUSING NEEDS OF BME ELDERS

M Hollywood

Working with Older People, vol. 6, December 2002, p.18-22

Describes what various housing providers have done to make their services accessible to and appropriate for black and minority ethnic elders. Initiatives include recruiting culturally diverse workforces, setting targets for lettings to minority groups, and adapting existing facilities to meet different cultural and spiritual needs.

PRESCOTT TO CURTAIL RIGHT-TO-BUY

C Newman

Financial Times, January 2nd 2003, p.1

John Prescott will next week move to tackle the lack of affordable housing by announcing plans to curtail the right of council tenants in property hotspots to buy their homes. The Deputy Prime Minister will give local authorities the power to limit to less than £20,000 the discount available to tenants wanting to buy their council houses in areas such as the south-east.

A STANDARD ISSUE

M Smulian

Public Finance, January 17th-23rd 2003, p.26-27

Rejection by tenants of schemes for the large scale transfer of council house stock to housing associations may threaten the government's target for all social housing to reach its "decency standard" by 2010. Alternative sources of finance for refurbishing council housing include use of arm's length management organisations with additional borrowing rights, use of private finance initiative deals, and use of the Major Repairs Allowance. Another approach to making stock transfer more attractive would be to link it with community regeneration, allowing housing associations to borrow money to employ development workers as well as to refurbish the stock.

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