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

AFFORDABLE HOMES A KEY ISSUE FOR CAPITAL'S MAYOR

Anon

Labour Research, Vol.93, June 2004, p.14-16

The average price of a flat or maisonette in London is over £250,000 which puts home ownership out of reach of most public sector workers. The government is helping professionals through its key worker scheme but this does not extend to lower paid staff. The London Plan produced by the Mayor in February 2004 proposes that 50% of all new housing in London should be affordable.

GETTING A MOVE ON

L. Warner and others

Mental Health Today, June 2004, p.27-29

Article summarises key findings from a qualitative study of the problems experienced by people moving on from acute mental health inpatient care to supported housing and thence to independent accommodation.

HOUSING GROUP SAYS PROVIDERS' FAILINGS LIE BEHIND EVICTIONS

C. Kenny

Community Care, Aug. 26th-Sept. 1st 2004, p.16-17

Older people with dementia are being evicted from sheltered housing because social services do not share information about prospective tenants with housing providers and fail to organise support.

PRESCOTT'S HOUSING SCHEME IS "FORCED MIGRATION"

C. Clover

Daily Telegraph, Sept. 3rd 2004, p.8

The article reports that the government's Pathfinder scheme, which funds the compulsory purchase and demolition of houses claimed to be "unfit for human habitation" in nine areas of the Midlands and North, has run into furious opposition from local residents. The scheme is meant to address abandonment and the collapse of the housing market in rundown areas, but is in practice involving the demolition of historic buildings and the disruption of viable communities.

PRESCOTT LAMBASTS HOUSE BUILDERS OVER COST OF AFFORDABLE HOMES

J. Blitz and M. Pesola

Financial Times, Sept. 23rd 2004, p.3

Over the past seven years the cost of building social housing has increased by 60%. The average subsidy for each housing association home for rent is now £66,000. Government is calling on housing associations to bear down on costs.

PRESCOTT PROMISES CUT-PRICE HOMES

N. Morris

The Independent, Sept. 27th 2004, p.7

Government is developing a scheme for implementation in a possible third term in office to build cut-price homes for sale to key public sector workers such as nurses and teachers. The houses would be put up on surplus public land, made available free to developers. Purchasers would pay the cost of the construction, not the land, an incentive which could drive the price of a house down to about £60,000. The land would remain in public ownership, and the home owners would pay a small percentage of any profit on resale of the house.

(See also the Daily Telegraph, Sept. 27th 2004, P.9; the Financial Times, Sept. 27th 2004, p.3)

PRESCOTT SHIFTS ON NEW HOME POLICY

P. Hetherington

The Guardian, Sept. 27th 2004, p.13

The Deputy Prime Minister has signalled that a Labour Government in its third term might introduce a Bill allowing local authorities to bid for public funds to resume house building after a gap of twenty years. Councils would also be allowed to bid for private finance initiative "credits" of more than £500,000 to help build houses for rent and sale.

SUPPORTING VULNERABLE AND OLDER PEOPLE: THE SUPPORTING PEOPLE PROGRAMME

Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions Committee

London: TSO, 2004 (House of Commons papers, session 2003/04; HC504)

The report examines the Government's Supporting People Programme, with particular reference to the Robson Rhodes Review, funding and service delivery.

VICTIM OF ITS SUCCESS

N. Goldie

Community Care, Sept. 16th-22nd 2004, p.38-39

Government has announced reduced funding for the Supporting People programme in 2005-06, and flat funding thereafter. With no uplift in funding to cover inflation, services may be cut back, just when the programme was benefiting users in terms of greater flexibility of support provided, more independence and improved incomes.

TRANSFER OR BE DAMNED

J. Sillett

Public Finance, July 2nd-8th 2004, p.28-29

Government offers local authorities three options for accessing funding to improve their housing stock: transfer to a housing association, setting up an arm's length management organisation (almo) and use of the private finance initiative. Councils whose tenants vote to retain the local authority as landlord receive no investment.

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