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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2007): Social housing - UK

Grey matters

G. Connor and S. McLaney

Roof, July/Aug. 2007, p. 29-32

Older people have been ignored in policy decisions about housing. Because they are no longer economically productive, their needs are overlooked and their housing choices are limited. Government is developing a national strategy on housing in an ageing society. It is argued that this should include provision for:

  1. more individual choice
  2. adaptation of existing housing for people with limited mobility
  3. better advice services on housing options
  4. a funding commitment to handyperson services
  5. targeting resources at older people living in low-quality private rented housing.

Homes for the future: more affordable, more sustainable

Department for Communities and Local Government

London: TSO, 2007 (Cmnd 7191)

This green paper promises:

  • Increases in housing supply to meet rising demand from a growing, and ageing, population
  • That new housing will be more sustainable and environmentally friendly, with the aim of cutting carbon emissions and water use
  • Development of more affordable homes both to rent and to buy, including increasing provision of family housing. Local authorities will have new opportunities to build and manage new housing alongside housing associations and the private sector. Arms Length Management Organisations and other local authority companies will be given opportunities to bid for social housing grant. Councils will be offered new ways to use their land and resources to build homes, and there will be changes in the treatment of rents and capital receipts from additional homes to incentivise this. Greater private sector involvement in social housing provision will be encouraged.

On the treadmill

J. Bone

Roof, July/Aug. 2007, p. 33-35

Current shortages of affordable housing can be partly attributed to price inflation fuelled by the 'buy-to-let' movement. The gulf between earnings and house prices is condemning many young people to student-style sharing, living with parents or taking out huge mortgages. Legislation to restrict 'buy-to-let' is the solution to the problem.

The RAP trap

S. Povey

Roof, July/Aug. 2007, p. 40

Reports progress in the implementation of the government's Respect Action Plan (RAP) in the housing world. Government has taken measures to:

  1. invest in rehabilitation projects to reform offending families
  2. introduce housing benefit sanctions for those guilty of anti-social behaviour who refuse to engage with rehabilitation projects
  3. extend the availability of police powers to close premises
  4. extend the availability of parenting orders to registered social landlords and local housing authorities.

Unequal access

R. Flynn

Roof, July/Aug. 2007, p. 37

The majority of disabled children from black and minority ethnic groups live in housing unfit for their needs. While financial help such as the disabled facilities grant is available to pay for housing adaptations, black and minority ethnic families are less likely to know what they are entitled to and therefore less likely to claim allowances or take-up services.

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