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

AS EASY AS ABC

A. Maye-Banbury and E. Walley

Housing, Apr. 2003, p. 22-23

Acceptable behaviour contracts (ABCs) are written agreements designed to combat anti-social behaviour and intended for use with young people aged 10-16. Article reports research on effectiveness of ABCs. Overall, 75% of survey respondents considered ABCs a good deterrent against nuisance behaviour.

CHANGING DEMAND FOR HOUSING: RESTRUCTURING MARKETS AND THE PUBLIC POLICY FRAMEWORK

P. Lee and B. Nevin

Housing Studies, vol. 18, 2003, p.65-86

Paper illustrates the processes and outcomes affecting housing abandonment within Liverpool. Shows that the problem of neighbourhood abandonment in inner city Liverpool is accelerating. The scale of the problem is overwhelming the disparate area based regeneration programmes currently being implemented in the city and threatens the Regional Development Agency's attempts to secure inward investment. Concludes by discussing the role of Market Renewal Areas, stock transfer, registered social landlords, and urban renewal and regeneration schemes in halting the decline.

HOUSING BILL: CONSULTATION ON DRAFT LEGISLATION

Office of the Deputy Prime Minister

London: TSO, 2003 (Cm 5793)

Consults on proposals relating to:

  • improving controls on Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), including a national mandatory licensing scheme to tackle poor physical and management conditions;
  • giving local authorities the power to licence private landlords in areas of low demand housing;
  • requiring anyone selling a house to assemble an information pack for prospective buyers;
  • changing the Right to Buy scheme to tackle profiteering and to counter its adverse effects on the availability of affordable housing.

HOUSING FOR LONDONERS WITH MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS

K. Boyle and C. Jenkins

London: King's Fund, 2003

There are variations in the amount of specialist housing available to people with mental health problems in different London boroughs which bear no relationship to need. The amount of specialist housing provided by housing associations has remained static since the previous King's Fund Inquiry in 1997. Moreover people living in supported housing have more complex needs than five years ago.

IMPROVING SOCIAL HOUSING THROUGH TRANSFER

National Audit Office

London: TSO, 2003 (House of Commons papers, session 2002/03: HC496)

The report evaluates two programmes for transferring council housing to registered social landlords: Large Scale Voluntary Transfer (LSVT) and the Estates Renewal Challenge Fund (ERCF). Found that transfers are facilitating the repair and improvement of housing without exorbitant rises in rents and are contributing to the achievement of the government's decent homes standard. However transfers have not effectively reduced council's monopoly of social housing, and their expected benefits have not always been made clear to tenants. The report also explores the financial effects of transfers. Transfers are intended to be cost neutral for the receiving RSL, but this may not always be achievable.

INCREASING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF POWERS TO REGULATE REGISTERED SOCIAL LANDLORDS: A CONSULTATION PAPER

Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Welsh Assembly Government

London: 2003

Sets out proposals on how the Housing Corporation and the National Assembly for Wales will regulate housing associations. Proposals cover registration, audit and financial provisions, bureaucracy reduction, funding powers and regulatory provisions.

REMEMBER THE ALMO

N. Merrick

Public Finance, Mar. 28th -Apr. 3rd 2003, p. 28-29

A local authority creates an Almo (Arms-Length Management Organisation) by handing over its landlord role to a non-profitmaking company while retaining control of housing strategy. The Almo is responsible for the management of the housing stock, and can borrow money for repairs. Article presents a case study of Derby Homes, one of the first Almos.

A SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY OF HOUSING

P. King

Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003

Develops a philosophical justification for housing provision and explores its implications for policy and current institutions. This justification is based on a detailed theoretical consideration of need, choice, rights and responsibility. The implications of basing housing policies on these concepts are considered.

SOCIAL WORKERS FAIL TO TAKE UP STARTER HOMES UNDER "KEY WORKER" SCHEMES

A. Taylor

Community Care, Apr. 10th-16th 2003, p.20

A government scheme to help 10,000 public sector workers buy a residential property reserved only 400 places for social workers. Even these have not been taken up due to the dubious value of the financial assistance offered, especially in the case of the equity loans.

SUPPORTING PEOPLE FUNDING

Anon

Registered Homes and Services, vol. 7, 2003, p.169

The Supporting People Programme, which replaces the Supported Housing Management Grant and the use of Housing Benefit for support services for vulnerable people goes live on April 1st 2003 with funding of £1.4 bn.

WHERE'S THE CASH?

N. Miller

Community Care, Apr. 3rd- 9th 2003, p.38

The Supporting People scheme replaces a benefit entitlement with a government grant. In spite of promises, the grant has proved insufficient for councils to fund the support elements of existing supported housing schemes. Councils will have to make cuts of 2-3% in the first year.

WHITEHALL DEPARTMENTS OWN ENOUGH UNUSED LAND FOR 80,000 AFFORDABLE LONDON HOMES

C. Newman

Financial Times, April 8th 2003, p.11

Whitehall departments are sitting on enough unused land in London to create 80,000 affordable homes needed by the low paid staff they employ. The Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott made the admission as he promised to set up a register of surplus government land that could be used for housing for key public sector workers.

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