Financial Times, March 13th 2003, p.10
Anti-social tenants could have their housing benefit withdrawn under government plans to restore civic tranquillity to neighbourhoods. David Blunkett insisted that the proposals were about empowering the majority in local communities to deal with the "unacceptable behaviour" of a disruptive minority of tenants. Main points of the anti-social crackdown are:
Community Care, Mar. 6th-12th 2003, p.20-21
Government promised that funding for its Supporting People initiative would cover in full the costs of all existing supported housing schemes through pots of money controlled by local authorities. However, in practice councils are being asked at the last minute to make "efficiency savings" of 2-3% on their budget estimates. Moreover, many new schemes in the pipeline have not received any funding at all.
N. King and S. West
Witney: Housing Options, 2002
Explores housing options for people with learning difficulties where either a close relative owns the property or is tenant but plans to arrange for the disabled person to continue to live there, or the relatives buy a different property for the disabled person to live in. Case studies are provided showing:
J. Birch, M. Delargy and E. Hawkey
Roof, Mar./Apr. 2003, p. 16-17
Policy on three crucial issues remains unclear in the government's new Communities Plan. Insufficient attention and funding are focused on sorting out failing housing markets in the North and Midlands. It is unclear how much extra money will be invested in affordable housing in the South East, how much is actually needed, and how "affordable" is defined. It is also uncertain whether the new money announced in the plan will be sufficient to enable councils to improve their stock to reach the decent homes target.
J. Kent (ed.)
Coventry: Chartered Institute of Housing, 2003
Presents case studies showing how the Welsh Assembly's policy principles of working strategically, engaging communities and meeting the needs of vulnerable groups are being translated into practice in the field of social housing.
Housing, March 2003, p. 16-19
Report of an interview with Independent Housing Ombudsman Dr. M. Biles on the role of his organisation in investigating tenant complaints against private sector and registered social landlords.
J. Birch and E. Hawkey
Roof, Mar./Apr. 2003, p.33
The combination of rent control, soaring costs and ever changing government policy is putting some registered social landlords at risk of financial failure.
Housing, Mar. 2003, p.27
Describes Lovell's low cost home ownership scheme, Lovell Choice, which provides affordable housing for key workers. Under the scheme, the local council makes building land available free. Lovell builds the houses to the council's specification. The council then nominates purchasers from its waiting list who buy a house at an agreed discount. The buyer pays no rent on the remaining equity, which is effectively owned by the council.
Roof, Mar./Apr. 2003, p. 26-28
Initial funding for the Supporting People Programme which covers the costs of providing care for people in supported housing will be generous as every scheme in existence in December 2002 will be covered. However funding is cash limited and in future years will only grow by the rate of inflation. This will make extending provision difficult. Service providers are also concerned that local authorities will be reluctant to fund schemes for "unpopular" groups such as drug users if funding is limited.
The Times, March 18th 2003, p. 15
Builders may have to construct more cheap houses if the Government decides to lower affordable housing thresholds. At present 15 homes need to be planned in inner London and 25 in outer before there is an obligation to include an element of affordable housing in the development. This threshold could be reduced to five in inner London and 10 in outer London. A report by the Greater London Authority and the Government Office for London says that thresholds should be reduced, abolished or set by each borough independently.
Guardian Society, March 19th 2003, p. 2-3
A huge shake-up of the way the state pays for a million people in supported housing is just days away. It is supposed to make the system respond better to local needs. But will it mean some lose out?
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
Main elements in the government's action programme for delivering sustainable communities are:
Local Economy, vol. 17, 2002, p. 255-272
Argues against the large scale transfer of council house stock to housing associations. Points out that:
Roof, Mar./Apr. 2003, p. 18-19
Government plans to record the number of tenants evicted by social landlords in England have been delayed by technical difficulties. In 2002 courts granted 29,926 outright eviction orders compared to 13,499 in 1994. The vast majority of these were for rent arrears.