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

CALLING THE SHOTS

M. Delargy

Roof, May/June 2003, p.18-21

In England, the newly launched regional housing boards are made up of representatives from English Partnerships, the Housing Corporation, regional development agencies, regional assemblies and the government office for the region. The key role of the boards is the allocation of public money to local councils and housing associations for social housing stock regeneration and new building.

DEVOLUTION AND HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS IN GREAT BRITAIN: ENHANCING ORGANISATIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY?

R. M. Walker, D. Mullins and H. Pawson

Housing Studies, vol 18, 2003, p.179-189

Paper presents a framework to evaluate housing associations' accountability three years after the creation of the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales. The framework examines the goals set for housing associations, the processes by which they are set, and the ways in which they are monitored and enforced. There is evidence that policy priorities for housing associations are coming to reflect local circumstances and locally determined decisions to a greater extent than before devolution.

HIGH AND DRY

J. Birch

Roof, May/June 2003, p.22-23

Discusses the challenges facing the new regional housing body for the South West.

A MATTER OF CHOICE? POLICY DIVERGENCE IN ACCESS TO SOCIAL HOUSING POST-DEVOLUTION

T. Stirling and R. Smith

Housing Studies, vol.18, 2003, p.145-158

Article sets out the current legislative and policy context for access to social housing in England, Scotland and Wales, detailing key differences in approach and emphasis. Goes on to consider the extent to which the three administrations are promoting the development of choice-based lettings systems. Finds highest level of commitment to choice-based lettings in England, and the lowest in Scotland.

NOT ANOTHER CRACKDOWN

A. Sampson

Roof, May/June 2003, p.9

The Anti-Social Behaviour Bill introduces a raft of new sanctions against "neighbours from Hell", including the restriction of housing benefit and measures to make eviction easier. Author argues that social landlords already have strong powers to deal with anti-social tenants and do not need any more.

PLANNING FOR SUSTAINABLE HOUSING AND COMMUNITIES: SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES IN THE SOUTH EAST

Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions Committee

London: TSO, 2003 ( House of Commons papers, session 2002/03; HC77)

Report comments on government plans to build 200,000 extra houses in the South East. Concludes that the programme could lead to the loss of greenfield sites and excessive pressure on the water supply and other natural resources. The government has also not costed the provision of transport links, health care facilities and schools. This will probably amount to not much less than £20bn. Government needs to ensure that budgets are identified and the infrastructure put in place. Argues that the new developments are unlikely to bring down house prices and that consideration should be given to the alternative strategy of encouraging businesses and housing demand to move out of the South East.

THE PLANNING SYSTEM AND THE PROVISION OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN RURAL BRITAIN: A COMPARISON OF THE SCOTTISH AND ENGLISH EXPERIENCE

M. Satsangi and K. Dunmore

Housing Studies, vol. 18, 2003, p.201-217

Paper compares recent experience in the use of the planning system to facilitate the provision of affordable housing in rural areas of Scotland and England. Following an introduction summarising key issues arising from the relevant literature, the paper sets out the scale of need for rural affordable housing in the two countries and summarises the differing planning policy frameworks. Scale of delivery is then addressed and an attempt is made to establish the extent to which differences in performance reflects variations in policy, delivery mechanisms or differing housing markets. The hypothesis is advanced that Scotland, although a more rural country, has made less use of planning policy to tackle issues related to the need for rural social housing.

A PRICE WORTH PAYING?

J. Birch

Roof, May/June 2003, p.33

New figures prepared for Roof magazine estimate that housing renovation through stock transfer to a housing association costs £1,700 per home more than it would if the work were done by the local authority. Argues that local authorities should be allowed to raise money to renovate their housing stock rather than transferring it to a registered social landlord.

PRIVATE CONCERNS

T. Macalister

Guardian Society, May 7th 2003, p.2-3

A new chapter in the history of social housing is being written as the first of the controversial private finance initiatives are being pushed through to revive rundown council estates. But a fierce debate still rages: is PFI the answer - or is it building up problems for future generations?

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