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

AFFORDABLE FOR WHO?

J. Birch

Roof, May/June 2004, p.18-19

The Barker Report proposes replacing the demographic projections that currently dictate the allocation of land for housing with specific market affordability targets set by regional planning and housing bodies. Land for housing would be released once affordability trigger points are reached. Article discusses how affordability can be assessed.

DECENT HOMES

Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions Committee

London: TSO, 2004 (House of Commons papers, session 2003/04: HC46)

In 2000 the government set itself a target of bringing all social housing up to the Decent Homes Standard by 2010. In 2002, this target was broadened to encompass also 70% of dwellings in the private rented sector, occupied by vulnerable households. The report recommends that the government should:

  • set a more aspirational Decent Homes Plus standard to be achieved after 2010;
  • not use the Decent Homes target as a lever to get stock transferred from local authorities to housing associations;
  • give higher priority to achieving the Decent Homes Standard across the private sector.

DELIVERING STABILITY: SECURING OUR FUTURE HOUSING NEEDS

K. Barker

Wetherby: ODPM Literature, 2004

Sets out a range of policy recommendations for improving the functioning of the housing market:

  • additional investment building up to between £1.2 and £1.6 billion per annum will be needed to deliver additional social housing to meet projected future needs;
  • introduction of a Planning Gain Supplement to capture some of the development gains that landowners benefit from, to ensure that local communities share in the value of the development;
  • establishment of a Regional Planning Executive to the Regional Planning Body on the scale and distribution of housing needed to meet the market affordability target;
  • introduction of flexibility at the local level through the allocation of additional land for housing in Local Development Frameworks, to be released in response to market signals;
  • establishment of a community infrastructure fund to help unlock some of the barriers to development;
  • allowing local authorities to "keep" the council tax receipts from new housing developments for a period of time to provide incentives for growth and to meet transitional costs associated with development.

OUT OF STEP

M. Delargy

Roof, May/June 2004, p.24-25

Capital funding is available from the Housing Corporation to build new hostels and other forms of supported housing. However, cuts in the Supporting People grant mean that there is no money to pay for the support element which used to be funded out of Housing Benefit.

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