Click here to skip to content

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

DESIGNERS SEEK NEW VISION ON HOMES POLICY

M. Wainwright

The Guardian, March 29th 2004, p.8

Britain's architects launched a national debate on housing policy and design today, in an attempt to avoid an "urban nightmare" of divided communities and crime-ridden streets. Leading practices have joined academics and commentators in an attempt to influence government and local council planning policy.

ESTATE MANAGEMENT

J. Plummer

Young People Now, Mar.10th-16th 2004, p.18-19

Describes how housing associations are working to give young residents a voice. Schemes range from establishment of a youth forum in Camden to cultural change to recognise youth rights in Notting Hill.

HALF-WAY DECENT?

M. Weaver

Public Finance, Feb. 20th-26th 2004, p.24-27

The government has set a target of bringing all housing to a decent standard by 2010. In order to achieve this it is forcing local authorities to either transfer their stock to housing associations, use private finance, or set up arms length management organisations (ALMOs). Unfortunately, tenants are showing resistance and determination to keep their housing under local authority control.

HOME HELP GEARS UP

N. Merrick

Public Finance, Mar. 5th-11th 2004, p.26-27

The article describes the launch of a new programme for housing key workers that builds on the Starter Homes Initiative. As well as low cost loans, the new programme will offer shared ownership schemes and cheap rented property.

HOUSING STRATEGY

The Journal of Social Housing Law and Practice, issue 10, 2004, p.11-12

The article summarises the ODPM's "Housing Market Assessment Manual", which aims to help local housing authorities take a strategic lead in managing housing demand in their areas.

THE PERFORMANCE OF SOCIAL LANDLORDS IN GREAT BRITAIN: WHAT DO WE KNOW AND WHAT DOES IT SHOW?

B. Walker and A. Murie

Housing Studies, vol.19, 2004, p.245-267

Paper looks at the factors which influence the performance of social landlords in the public (council) and voluntary (housing association) sectors. Performance of both local authority landlords and housing associations is affected by factors such as whether they are managing a residual housing stock rather than one for which there is high demand or whether they are operating in dense urban environments rather than rural areas. In some cases landlords in both sectors are operating alongside a very large private rented sector while in others they provide the majority of rented housing and are the alternative to home ownership in a high priced market.

POSSESSIONS FALL AT LAST

M. Delargy

Roof, Mar./Apr. 2004, p.24-25

Eviction action by social landlords fell in 2003 for the first time since 1994, but the number of possession orders granted remained high. The article suggests that the fall may be due to improved administration of housing benefit and better arrears management by landlords.

RAZED EXPECTATIONS

P. Hetherington

Society Guardian, March 10th 2004, p.2-3

Thousands of properties in the North and Midlands are earmarked for demolition - all in the name of regeneration. But is this an easy way out that could result in a return to slum clearances that tore apart families and communities?

REVIEW OF THE SUPPORTING PEOPLE PROGRAMME

E. Sullivan

2004

The review was set up to inquire into the spiralling costs of the Supporting People funding scheme. It found that councils had been using the scheme to finance housing-related support services, which used to be funded by health and social services budgets. There were wide variations in costs between local authorities, with one-fifth of councils consuming 30% of the budget in 2003.

(For comment see Community Care, Feb. 19th-25th 2004, p.20-21)

SMALLER THAN THE SUM OF ITS PARTS

J. Perry

Public Finance, Mar.19th-25th 2004, p.24-25

Outlines changes in social housing finance coming into effect in April 2004. It will be easier for high-performing councils to borrow money prudentially, but local authorities' ability to influence new developments by housing associations will be reduced. Changes in the formula for the allocation of the management and maintenance subsidy will shift resources from the South to the North. Councils are also faced with cuts in the Supporting People grant and loss of control over rent levels. Finally, the new Regional Housing Boards will have effective control over 30% of housing capital finance.

SUPPORTING PEOPLE: ISSUES FACING REGISTERED SOCIAL LANDLORDS

T. Wood

Housing, Care and Support, vol.7, Feb.2004, p.4-6

Supporting People is likely to lead to a shake out of housing-related support services offered by registered social landlords. Provision may be rationalised and there will be greater emphasis on the cost effectiveness of schemes.

SUPPORTING PEOPLE: REVIEW OF THE DEVELOPMENT AND THE POLICY AND COSTS OF HOUSING RELATED SUPPORT SINCE 1997

Matrix Research and Consultancy

London: Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, 2004

The growth in the size of the legacy fund transferred to Supporting People from Transitional Housing Benefit (THB) exceeded all official estimates. The research reviewed the factors which contributed to the large variation between the estimates and the final size of the THB grant. It identified several contributing factors:

  • difficulties with accurate data collection;
  • councils taking the opportunity of transferring services previously funded out of health and social care budgets to the uncapped THB scheme;
  • differences in existing local structures and administrative practices.

USER INVOLVEMENT IN SUPPORTED HOUSING: MORE THAN JUST TICKING THE BOX

M. Mordey and J. Crutchfield

Housing, Care and Support, vol.7, Feb.2004, p.7-10

Southern Focus Trust is a provider of housing-related care and support services to a range of vulnerable clients including older people, people with learning difficulties and people with mental health problems. Article describes how it organised a major consultation exercise with service users, frontline staff, middle and senior managers, central services staff and trustees.

WHERE HAVE ALL THE HOUSES GONE?

D. Scott

Public Finance, Feb. 20th-26th 2004, p.30-32

Latest figures show that less than a quarter of all housing stock in Scotland is rented from local authorities compared with more than half in 1979. The right to buy and transfer of stock to housing associations have transformed provision and overall spending on social housing has declined. There are now concerns about a shortage of affordable housing.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web