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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2004): Social Housing - UK

BUILT-IN CONFLICT

Guardian Society, January 7th 2004, p.2-3

More than 30,000 affordable homes must be built to keep pace with demand, economists have warned government ministers. Could this signal a revolution in social housing building? Where should it go and what should it look like? Experts give their views.

FRINGE BENEFITS

C. Tickell

Roof, Jan/Feb 2004, p.10-11

Provision of supported housing is key to achievement of a range of government targets on reduction of homelessness, reduction of prison overcrowding, tackling domestic violence, assisting care leavers and reducing bed blocking. The Supporting People grant administered by local authorities is limited and cannot cover all costs. The article call for contributions to the costs of supported housing schemes from health and social services.

LAND GRABBERS

M. Delargy

Roof, Nov./Dec. 2003, p.18-20

Housing associations are starting to buy land and inviting private house-builders to build on it to their designs. In some cases, associations are building and selling private houses for profit, which is then invested in aspects of their social business.

LANDLORDS THREATEN MASS EXODUS

E. Hawkey

Roof, Jan/Feb 2004, p.18-20

A major housing benefit reform is being piloted in nine pathfinder areas around the UK. It involves paying a flat-rate housing allowance direct to tenants rather than to landlords. Private landlords, anticipating a massive rise in rent arrears, are threatening to pull out of the housing benefit rental market.

LOCAL HOUSING ALLOWANCE

J. Paterson

SCOLAG Legal Journal, Issue 314, 2003 p.230-231

The article examines the new local housing allowance for housing benefit claimants being piloted in Edinburgh. The government hopes that the scheme will simplify the current complex rent restrictions and will allow landlords and tenants to know how much rent housing benefit will cover. It will also allow tenants to choose between paying more for better housing or keeping "extra" benefit by moving to poorer accommodation. However, the article warns that there will be those who lose out as well as those who gain and insists that until evaluation results are available there should be no national roll-out of the scheme.

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD MANAGEMENT MODEL: "JOINED-UP WORKING WITH COMMUNITIES": IS THIS AN EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT FOR SOCIAL HOUSING IN THE UK?

A. Lawan

International Journal of Applied Management, Vol. 4, 2003, p.71-85

The paper proposes a neighbourhood management model in which problems of crime, litter, abandoned vehicles and anti-social behaviour are addressed by an on-the-spot "super-caretaker", who would co-ordinate the responses of the appropriate agencies.

NO EASY WAY OUT

M. Partington

Roof, Jan/Feb 2004, p.9

The Law Commission is proposing the creation of a single social tenure covering local authority and housing association property. This would mean the abolition of fast-track evictions for housing association tenants. At present, courts are required to grant housing associations possession orders if tenants are two months in arrears with their rent, regardless of fault on the tenant's part.

PUBLIC MONEY? NO THANKS

A. Cherry

Roof, Nov./Dec. 2003, p.10-11

Strategic partnerships between house-builders and housing associations are needed to develop successful, sustainable, communities. We also need to support such partnerships through the planning system and through public agencies that bring forward publicly owned land for development.

REMOVING BARRIERS IN THE TRANSFER PROCESS TO FACILITATE INNOVATIVE PRIVATE FINANCE AND DELIVER SUCCESSFUL TRANSFERS

Office of the Deputy Prime Minister

London: 2003

A consultation paper on additional models for funding council housing stock transfers. It proposes:

  • Encouraging local authorities to address funding issues early in the process
  • Encouraging the use of funding advisers
  • Inviting local housing associations to compete for the role of stock owner
  • Scrapping the requirement for a fully funded 30-year business plan.

RURAL HOMES FOR RURAL PEOPLE

E. Hawkey

Roof, Nov./Dec. 2003, p.27-32

The article looks at how local authorities are working to maximise the number of affordable homes produced through existing planning powers, and the advantages and disadvantages of reserving them for local people.

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