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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2006): Social housing - UK

The changing housing and support needs of Irish people in London

G. Randall

Housing, Care and Support, vol.9, Apr. 2006, p.14-16

Irish people who came to work in London in the 1950s and 1960s are now elderly and have high support needs. There is a need for sheltered housing and residential care homes specifically for older Irish people and for more specialist provision for those with alcohol abuse problems.

One step backwards

T. Fuller

Roof, May/June 2006, p.10-11

Argues that the new Planning Policy Statement 3 (PPS3) is likely to decrease the rate of affordable house building because:

  1. Local authority control of the private-social housing mix on new estates will deter developers from investing
  2. There will be confusion over the use and amount of social housing grant in section 106 schemes
  3. Local authority control over housing associations’ future capital receipts if the housing ceases to be affordable may cause private finance to dry up.

The Right to Buy 25 years on

C. Jones

Roof, May/June 2006, p.28-30

The right of council tenants to buy their homes was introduced by Margaret Thatcher in the early 1980s with the intention of creating a property owning democracy. In fact the policy’s effects have been complex. On the one hand it has reduced access to larger and better council homes, leaving most vacancies in less desirable estates and house types. This has led to the residualisation of council housing, which has become the domain of the elderly and the young on low incomes. On the other hand, the policy has allowed some former tenants to sell their homes at a handsome profit through a boom in resales, and has led to the revival of the private rented sector.

The way forward for Supporting People: challenges and opportunities for BME organisations

D.S. Matharoo

Housing, Care and Support, vol.9, Apr. 2006, p.21-24

The Supporting People programme offers specialist Black and Minority Ethnic housing associations an opportunity to obtain funding for the provision of culturally sensitive services to vulnerable people. However such services are expensive to run and the funding available from Supporting People is both inadequate and insecure.

Still counting

C. Hunter and others

Roof, May/June 2006, p.25-27

Research into trends in rent arrears hearings compared findings of studies carried out in 2004 and 1996. Results showed that currently:

  1. Landlords are initiating cases earlier, in a bid to prevent arrears getting out of hand before cases come to court
  2. There is greater participation in hearings by tenants, and more are represented by a solicitor or the duty desk
  3. There is greater use of adjournments on terms by district judges
  4. There is greater reliance on Ground 8 by housing associations. Ground 8 (the mandatory ground for possession) may be relied on if there are eight weeks of arrears at the date of serving notice and at the date of the hearing.

A vote for all?

J. Black

Roof, May/June 2006, p.18-19

Points out that in Scotland tenants have to vote in favour of stock transfer from a local authority to a housing association. However, changes of landlord arising from housing association mergers or takeovers happen without a ballot.

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