Click here to skip to content

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

BEYOND THE COUNCIL ESTATE

D. Curry

Public Finance, Nov. 26th - Dec. 3rd 1999, p. 22-23

The transfer of council houses to housing companies marks the third phase in the revolution in social housing. These companies have private sector status but local authorities can retain a one-third stake. The other two-thirds are taken by tenants and independent directors respectively. This provision has acted as the catalyst for accelerating the pace of housing transfers because it offers an alternative to ceding total ownership of council houses to housing associations.

CLOSING DOORS: EXAMINING THE LACK OF HOUSING CHOICES IN LONDON

P. Feldman

London: National Housing Federation, 1999

Report examines how the shortage of affordable housing in London affects not only those on the very lowest incomes, but also impacts on a significant proportion of the working population. Research on shortage, accessibility and unsuitability, both financial and in physical condition, in all housing sectors demonstrates with figures supported by case studies, the urgent need for an overall strategic plan of which recognises London's distinctive housing market and sets out to increase the supply of affordable accommodation.

COUNCIL-RUN ESTATES MAY BE SOLD OFF

M. Woolf

Daily Telegraph, Nov. 15th 1999, p.6

Reports that the government is considering three radical options for the reform of social housing. The first is "mortgaging" council estates to property companies which in return for buying the stock and assuming responsibility for repairs would have the right to collect rent. The second is the creation of three-way ownership schemes under which estates would be owned and run jointly by a private company, the tenants and the council. The third option involves introducing buy-to-rent schemes and extending the right to buy across whole estates to remove them from council control.

A FUTURE FOR SOCIAL HOUSING: WHAT WILL BE ITS ROLE IN THE 21ST CENTURY

S. Regan

New Economy, vol. 6, 1999, p. 215-217

Social housing is now focused on a narrow section of the population reliant on benefits and with many caught in the poverty and unemployment traps. In some large council housing estates, social exclusion is acute and levels of unemployment, crime and ill-health are well above national averages. On the other hand there are many examples of well-run, popular estates with vibrant tenant participation. Article explains how the Institute for Public Policy Research forum on the future of social housing aims to explore such issues and develop a vision for the next 20-30 years.

HOMES WHERE THE MONEY IS

N. Merrick

Public Finance, Dec. 3rd - 9th 1999, p. 26-27

Argues that the growth in council housing stock transfers will continue. Stock may be transferred to housing associations or to housing companies, which are jointly controlled by the local authority, tenants and the private sector. Councils are waiting to hear what the government intends to do about authorities which fail to raise enough money from the sale of housing and other assets to clear the debt in their Housing Revenue Account. A one-off grant, paid to the council by the government, is the favoured solution amongst local authorities.

HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS AND HOUSING POLICY IN BRITAIN SINCE 1989

P. Malpass

Housing Studies, vol. 14, 1999, p .881-893

Paper explores the growth and transformation of housing associations in Britain. The importance of stock transfers from local authorities has increased to the point where they have become the major source of growth, and it is argued that within the foreseeable future the majority of the social rented sector may be owned by housing associations. The paper looks at finance, development and governance issues, concluding that housing associations have been drawn into an ever closer relationship with the state.

STAKEHOLDER HOUSING

T. Miller (editor)

London: Labour Housing Group, 1999

Book is divided, like Gaul, into three parts. The first sets out the links between housing and the environment, health, social exclusion and education. The second part is a recapitulation of the current scene in the four home nations. The third section looks at the involvement of the stakeholders: tenants, local government, communities, minorities, private finance and regulators.

UNPOPULAR HOUSING: NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR NEIGHBOURHOOD RENEWAL REPORT OF POLICY ACTION TEAM 7

London: Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, 1999

Communities can quickly become caught in an accelerating spiral of decline that leads to neighbourhood abandonment and leaves valuable housing to go to waste. The report shows that low demand for housing is linked to demographic change and economic decline. Other causes of low demand include crime and anti-social behaviour, poor condition housing, stock surplus, poverty, and racism. Calls for closer links between housing and land-use strategies, regeneration and economic development at regional and sub-regional level. It also illustrates the importance of well thought out responses at local level to encourage greater investment into areas of unpopular housing and to create more mixed income communities.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web