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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2000): Social Housing - UK

AGENDA FOR A GREEN PAPER

A. Murie

Axis, Aug/Sept 1999, p. 24-25

Argues that the upcoming housing green paper must tackle the key issues of rents and housing benefits.

THE CHAINED GANG

A. Benjamin

Roof, Nov/Dec 1999, p. 26-29

Increasingly, housing associations are diversifying their activities into 'non-core' areas such as nurseries, health schemes, private finance, insurance, etc. Belatedly, the Housing Corporation has woken up to this and is trying to reassert control of the sector. But, with the Audit Commission entering the arena as a second regulator of social housing, the Corporation's days may be numbered.

HOUSING, BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT

I. Cole

Housing, Oct. 1999, p. 21-22

Argues that the changing organisational base for housing practice, the empowerment of social housing tenants, and the underlying transformation of the British housing market all bode ill for the continuation of the housing profession in its present form.

INVESTMENT IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

C. Waddams

Axis, Oct/Nov 1999, p. 24-25

Argues that some spending by registered social landlords on improving their own stock could be wasted. What tenants want is more investment from RSLs to create quality neighbourhoods.

LIVING TOGETHER

B. Jupp

London: Demos, 1999

Report argues that the government's policy of promoting social integration by mixing private and council homes on estates is failing. Rather than promoting mutual support and understanding and improving relations between different social classes, it can often lead to tensions, resentment and distrust. Council house tenants, living mainly on benefit, often become envious of their wealthier neighbours, while private owners fear vandalism. The key problem appears to be that planners restrict private and social housing to different roads and blocks, which can lead to the creation of mini-ghettos of public housing. The research showed that residents of more integrated communities, with mixed streets, were more satisfied with life on their estate and perceived fewer problems with noise, vandalism and litter.

MAKING IT ALL ADD UP: HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS AND COMMUNITY INVESTMENT

P. Smith and B. Paterson

York: York Publishing, 1999

Despite the government's attention to combating social exclusion and reducing the 'bricks and mortar' emphasis in housing policy, many housing associations are finding it difficult to maintain investment in programmes designed to benefit the wider community. Report suggests that policies promoting area regeneration are in danger of being squeezed out by other policies designed to hold down rents and make housing affordable. The authors urge the Housing Corporation to allow housing associations freedom to invest in a range of innovative projects. They describe proposals for a new system of Community Investment Grants which would enable housing associations to give a high priority to community services.

A NEW APPROACH TO HOMELESSNESS AND ALLOCATIONS

S. Kincaid

[London]: Shelter, 1999

Calls for a strategic duty on local authorities to prevent homelessness and the 'revolving door' syndrome by putting in place support to help people maintain their new tenancy. Councils should have a strategy to tackle homelessness, acknowledge the roles of other agencies in homelessness prevention and provide homeless people with housing choice.

PARTNERSHIP CAN DELIVER

A. Mayer

Axis, Oct/Nov 1999, p. 8-9

Regeneration projects can only work if funders and providers listen to what resident's want.

PI IN THE SKY

H. Dawson

Roof, Nov/Dec 1999, p. 10-11

Published performance indicators, which should be encouraging faster lettings by social landlords, reveal a deterioration in void management. This may be due in part to the consumerist approaches introduced by social landlords which imply more choice and less coercion in allocations.

POOR HOUSING 'IS KILLING THE CITIES'

C. Clover

Daily Telegraph, Sept. 21st 1999, p. 7

Reports views of Prof. A Power of the London School of Economics that unimaginative management of council housing is preventing a renaissance of urban areas and driving middle class people from the cities.

PUTTING THE HOUSE IN ORDER: HOUSING PROFESSIONALS' AGENDA FOR LEGISLATION

Chartered Institute of Housing

London: 1999

Calls for: wide-ranging reform of policy on rents and the housing benefit system; reform of the way that housing is allocated to enable social landlords to create more sustainable communities; a single tenancy for social housing; wider regulation of the private rented sector; local authorities to control the Right to Buy scheme for the benefit of local communities; and a comprehensive review of policies on owner occupation to sustain those already in the sector and improve conditions for low income home owners.

REGULATING A DIVERSE SECTOR: CONSULTATION PAPER

Housing Corporation

[London]: 1999

To continue to regulate effectively an increasingly diverse RSL (registered social landlord) sector while respecting the independence of RSLs and recognising the contribution RSLs are ideally placed to make to the wider housing, regeneration and social inclusion initiatives, the Corporation recommends that it: 1) requires that social housing activities continue to form the majority of an RSL's business activities; and 2) updates its approach to RSL risk management to reflect the increasingly diverse nature of RSL business activities.

SOCIAL HOUSING IN THE 21ST CENTURY: THE KEY QUESTIONS

S. Hilditch

Axis, Oct/Nov 1999, p. 12-13

While council housing was transformed into a residualised 'welfare' sector under the Conservative governments 1979-97, housing associations grew to be the main providers of affordably housing. However housing associations have also been caught up in the same residualisation process during the 1990s. Under the new Labour government housing is moving to the centre of the political stage. Massive investment is needed over the next 20 years to regenerate estates, deal with the backlog of repairs and build additional affordable housing in areas of high demand.

WHOSE HOME IS THIS? TENANT PARTICIPATION IN SUPPORTED HOUSING

K. Simons

Brighton: Pavilion, 1999

Details recent research and current practice regarding the extent to which people in supported housing are involved in decisions about their living conditions and the running of their homes. Based on the key assumption that tenants should have a say in matters that affect them, report explores examples of good practice, discusses lost opportunities and describes practical ways in which complaints procedures can be made accessible and inclusive for all tenants.

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