Housing And Benefits

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    Government accused of failing in the literacy levels of homeless people

    Inside Housing also reports that funding for adult education is primarily accessed through the adult skills budget, which was cut from £2.71 billion in 2012/13 to £2.26 billion for 2014/15, with further cuts planned for the future.The Adults Skills Budget funding includes conditions on course completion, meaning granting places to homeless people is ‘too great a financial risk' for further...

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    THE ONS PLANS TO CHANGE THEIR DECISION TO MAKE HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS PUBLIC BODIES

    According to reports by 24 Housing, the ONS said the following:Gavin Smart, Chartered Institute of Housing's deputy chief executive also said:"Although we have been expecting this decision for some time, it is welcome news."It is important that housing associations retain their independent status, not least because it means they can secure significant amounts of private finance to bolster public...

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    RECENT ANALYSIS FINDS THAT THE HELP TO BUY SCHEME HAS ADDED TO THE INFLATION OF HOUSE PRICES

    The analysis of the Help to Buy Scheme revealed the following:The chief executive of Paradigm Housing Group, Matthew Bailes, said:" ... clearly, it worked well for developers, and for providers, it was largely neutral, and part of the game if you wanted to buy new stock."Arguably, it suited the Housing Corporation too, by helping it to achieve its targets while claiming to have squeezed grant...

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    A NORTH WALES COUNCIL REVEALED THEIR WAITING LIST FOR NEW HOMES HAS REACHED BREAKING POINT

    The north Wales Council revealed their waiting list for new homes has reached "breaking point".According to Clare Budden, Flintshire Council's community enterprise chief officer said:"There are currently just over 1,600 people on Flintshire County Council's waiting list for housing."This compares with just over 1,200 at the end of September 2016 demonstrating the growing need for social housing...

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    HOMELESSNESS POLICY IS UNDER REVIEW IN A NORTHAMPTONSHIRE COUNCIL

    Kettering Borough Council has amended its letters to homeless residents to let them know of their right to request a temporary accommodation review.According to an ombudsman, Michael King:"People in temporary accommodation have a legal right to a review of that accommodation, and ultimately to have that review considered by the courts."But they can only follow this process if councils tell them...

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    FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS HAVE CAUSED THE CLOSURE OF MANY CHILDREN AND YOUTH CENTRES

    Local Government Association (LGA) made the following findings:Chair of the LGA's children and young people board, Richard Watts, said: "The reality is that services for the care and protection of vulnerable children are now, in many areas, being pushed to breaking point. Government must commit to the life chances of children and young people by acting urgently to address the growing funding...

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    RESIDENTS OF BUILDINGS IN LEDBURY ESTATE, SOUTHWARK, SOUTH LONDON WILL BE MOVED OUT TEMPORARILY

    The buildings in Ledbury Estate in Southwark have been constructed in a similar way to Ronan Point, a tower block in Newham which collapsed in 1968 as a result of a gas explosion, killing three. An English Housing Survey last month revealed that due to safety hazards and inadequate facilities, 29% of homes in the private rented sector do not meet the National Decent Home Standard, which means...

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    THERE IS A DECLINE IN THE HOUSING MARKET IN LONDON AND OTHER PARTS OF THE SOUTH EAST OF ENGLAND

    The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) made the following findings:Chief Economist at Rics, Simon Rubinsohn:"Sales activity in the housing market has been slipping in the recent month and the most worrying aspect of the latest survey is the suggestion that this could continue for some time to come."What do you think?Please tweet comments @suppsolutions.For more details, visit the...

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    REPORT FINDS THAT PEOPLE ARE INTENSELY SUFFERING FROM LACK OF AFFORDABLE HOMES IN SCOTLAND

    According to the report by "Shelter":Shelter's deputy director, Alison Watson, said:"This report shows the disproportionate impact of Scotland's housing crisis on young people and private renters who are both over-represented in the number of people we helped."Struggling to afford or pay housing costs is the biggest presenting problem people have when coming to us for help."What do you...

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    NEW REPORT BY THE PUBLIC ACCOUNT COMMITTEE IN WALES COMMENDS HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS

    The report which was put together after nine months of inquiries stated the following:Nick Ramsey, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said:"Generally, we found governance and regulation within housing sector to be working well enough for housing associations to be granted more autonomy, but in return, we think they should do more to be open and transparent in their decision making."What do...

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    LONDON COUNCIL URGES THE GOVERNMENT TO MAKE MEASURES TO END LETTING FEES FOR PRIVATE RENTERS

     The London council say urgent action is needed because the government has not provided "a clear timescale to introduce its own measure", Letting Agent Today, reports.Last year, the government had announced that there would be a ban on letting fees like charges for signing new tenancy agreements, in England.According to Hackney Council:What do you think?Please tweet comments @suppsolutions.For...

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    A NEW SCHEME HAS BEEN PROPOSED TO DEVELOP ARTHUR STREET ESTATE IN LONDON

    Wates Residential will help to deliver Orbit's proposed £73m regeneration of an estate in London, after their success with making Larner Road an award winning, 40,000-home, Erith Park, Bexley.Within the next few months, Orbit and Wates Residential will consult with the local community prior to submitting a planning application to London Borough of Bexley in summer 2018.Arthur Street estate which...

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    LATEST HOUSING SURVEY REVEALS THE CURRENT STATE OF THE HOUSING MARKET

    RICS UK Residential Market Survey made the following findings:RICS Chief Economist, Simon Rubinsohn, said:"The latest results demonstrate the danger, however tempting, of talking about a single housing market across the country. RICS indicators... are pointing towards an increasingly divergent picture."High-end prime properties may be seeing prices slipping back but, for good or ill, prices are...

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    NEW DATA PREDICTS THAT THE HOUSING MARKET MAY COLLAPSE DUE TO FALL IN PROPERTY PRICES

    According to the UK Residential Market Survey:Professor of Economic Geography at the London School of Economics, said:"We are due a significant correction in house prices."I think we are beginning to see signs that correction may be starting."What do you think?Please tweet comments @suppsolutions.For more details, visit The Sun....

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    CLA PLANS TO END THE RURAL HOUSING CRISIS

    The research will be unveiled at the CLA's first Housing Summit, today with landowners who develop properties around rural communities in attendance.The research consists of the following information:According to CLA president, Ross Murray:"The rural housing challenge we face is to deliver a range of much-needed homes which will reinvigorate our rural areas across England and Wales and help to...

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    GOVERNMENT IS URGED TO PUT MEASURES IN PLACE TO INCREASE THE SUPPLY OF NEW HOMES

    This demand from the government was made in a new collection of essays which was published by the IPPR and includes different essays such as:According to Michael Lyons, the director of the Lyons Housing Commission:"The housing market is broken. That is the stark conclusion of the government's White Paper published in February 2017. Few would disagree, and the impacts are clear for all to...

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    ALOK SHARMA HAS BEEN APPOINTED AS THE NEW HOUSING MINISTER

    Garvin Barwell the former housing and planning minister, will be replaced by Alok Sharma, as the new housing minister in the Department for Communities and Local Government.Alok Sharma has done the following:Mr Sharma has also received the support of housing associations and sector bodies as they look forward to working with him to solve problems in relation to housing.What do you think?Please...

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    PRIME MINISTER HAS ENDORSED A REVIEW TO CATALYSE THE MASS SALE OF NHS LAND FOR HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

    The review was published in late March but did not receive a response prior to the call for general elections.Ms May said this in a BBC TV Interview:"We are backing the proposals in the Naylor report (as one means of increasing funding)."According to the Naylor review by Sir Robert Naylor, former chief executive of University College London Hospitals:Deloitte also did an analysis as part of the...

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    RECENT STATISTICS REVEAL THAT FIRST TIME BUYERS RECEIVED THE MOST MORTGAGES IN MARCH

    The published sector data reveals the following:Director General of the CML, Paul Smee, said:"Comparing this March to last year is misleading because of the peak in activity before the stamp duty changes last spring."Overall, lending trends have remained reasonably consistent. The relatively sluggish activity among home movers stands in contrast to the growth in first-time buyer and remortgage...

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    UK PRIME MINISTER PLEDGES A NEW RIGHT-TO-BUY PROGRAM ON SOCIAL HOUSING

    The program is set to achieve the following;According to UK Prime Minister, Theresa May:"Too many ordinary working families are stuck on council waiting lists, facing unaffordable rents and struggling to save for that first deposit."That's why we will fix the broken housing market and support local authorities and housing associations to build a new generation of council homes right across the...

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    NEW DATA SHOWS DELAY IN RECEIVING MENTAL HEALTH CARE FOR CHILDREN IN SCOTLAND

    The new figures revealed the following about mental health:Party leader, Willie Rennie said:"Waiting more than 600 days for help must feel like a lifetime. SNP ministers should hand their heads in shame."Mr Rennie also said his party would stop mental health from being underfunded, set up new units for children and make sure more mental health professionals are more readily locations.A Scottish...

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    LONDON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CALLS FOR INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF CONSTRUCTION TRAINEES

    The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called for the following:Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said;"London's success cannot be taken for granted. Alongside rising cost pressures for many London businesses, the City's growing population is putting the capital's critical economic infrastructure under unprecedented pressure."Steps must be...

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    GROWING UNCERTAINTIES AND AFFORDABILITY CONSTRAINTS IMPACTS BUYERS ACROSS THE HOUSING MARKET

    Figures from Halifax revealed the following:Jonathan Harris of mortgage broker, Anderson Harris, said:"The issue for buyers is affordability and bridging the huge gulf between incomes and house prices. We are seeing a number of down valuations from surveyors as caution starts to become more prevalent."Vendors are beginning to appreciate that their homes aren't worth as much as they thought."What...

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    UK CHARITABLE FOUNDATIONS PLAN TO JOINTLY FUND A CAMPAIGN FOR MORE AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN LONDON

    Research from Citizens UK showed that six out of the eight biggest developers in London are not meeting the long-term strategic target of 35% affordable housing, as set out by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.According to Inside Housing, the campaign is set to achieve the following:Deputy director of Citizens UK, Matthew Bolton, said:"London is facing an affordable housing crisis that our local...

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    NUMBER OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES RECEIVING PLANNING CONSENT REACHED ALMOST 300,000 LAST YEAR

    Research by consultants, Glenigan and the Home Builders Federation (HBF) revealed the following:Economics director, head of business market intelligence at Glenigan, Alan Wilen, said:"The strong level of unit approvals during the final quarter of 2016 takes the number of new homes securing planning approval last year to its highest level in over a decade."Growth has been largely driven by private...

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    CIH IS CALLING ON PARTIES TO DEVELOP A LONG-TERM PLAN TO SOLVE UK's HOUSING CRISIS

    "CIH is also calling on the next government to review the welfare reforms that have been introduced since 2012 and measures due to be rolled out over the next few years", 24housing, reports.Terrie Alafat CBE, chief executive of CIH said:"Tackling our housing crisis has to be a top priority for all political parties. We need cross-party consensus to drive forward the measures that will make a...

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    THE GOVERNMENT PRESSURISES COUNCILS TO PROVIDE MORE ACCESSIBLE HOUSING

    The Women's and Equalities Committee recommended the Department for Communities and Local Government to carry out an audit of Local Plans, to verify that they meet the new guidance set out in the Neighbourhood Planning Bill when it is brought into legislation.According to a recent report on disability and the built environment where this was proposed:MP's have said that "Local Plans should be...

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    REPORT FINDS THAT OVER 200,000 HOMES IN ENGLAND WERE EMPTY IN 2016

    Despite the desperate shortage of properties to rent and buy, there was £43bn worth of empty homes in England.According to official figures:Councils and the government have intensified efforts to reduce the number of empty homes, by reducing tax incentives which made owners leave properties unused.Recently, most councils have increased council tax bills on second homes with stricter rules on...

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    SURVEY REVEALS THE PRESENT STATE OF THE HOUSING MARKET

    The Rics survey shows the following:Rics chief economist, Simon Rubinsohn, said:"High-end sale properties in central London remain under pressure, while the wider residential market continues to be underpinned by a lack of stock."For the time being, it is hard to see any major impetus for change in the market, something also being reflected in the flat trend in transaction levels."What do you...

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    LOW-INCOME EARNERS ARE LEFT WITH FEWER AFFORDABLE HOUSING OPTIONS

    According to the NHF report:Chief executive at the National Housing Federation, David Orr, said:"Low-income workers are left with fewer affordable options than ever, though their jobs are absolutely critical to local economies."...Housing associations are in a unique position to step up and deliver the types of homes which the nation, and low-incomes workers, need most."What do you think?Please...

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    SAJID JAVID: IF YOU WANT THE GOVERNMENT TO HELP YOU BUILD AND SELL HOMES, YOU HAVE TO SELL THEM ON FAIR TERMS

    Over 100,000 new build homes have been bought with Help to Buy Equity Loans since its introduction in April 2013.However, issues such as the increase of ground rents paid yearly to the house builder and the selling on the freehold interest to a secondary party who was not willing to sell it to the lease-holder, have been persistent.From now, only builders who accept the government's terms of...

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    MILLIONS OWED TO THE GOVERNMENT DUE TO 'OVERPAYMENT' ERRORS TO TENANTS

    The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) complained about wasting money that belongs to taxpayers, yesterday.The following official figures were released:According to the Sun, chief exec at the Taxpayers Alliance, John O'Connell, said:"The welfare system remains so complicated that even officials at DWP are struggling to get their sums right."The Department has to improve because when we're...

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    GOVERNMENT MAY ROLL AFFORDABLE HOUSING INTO A NEW CIL REGIME

    At the moment, CIL rates are fixed locally as a percentage of development value and are based on local infrastructure priorities which are not mandatory for councils to put into effect.According to Gavin Barwell, the Housing Minister, site-specific negotiations over Section 106 payments could be removed to create a centralised fixed tariff in the next budget which will cover all new...

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    PATIENTS WITH DELAYED RELEASE FROM HOSPITAL OCCUPY OVER 2,500 HOSPITAL BEDS

    'Bed-blocking' occurs when patients are fit to leave the hospital but other issues prevent them from getting discharged.According to the BBC, in spite of the fact that the NHS is to blame for most delayed transfers, the numbers attributable to social care are also on the rise.While analysing delays caused by social care pressures, the BBC England data unit made the following findings:Prime...

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    RESEARCH SHOWS THAT SVR MORTGAGES ARE ALREADY HIGH AND COULD RISE EVEN FURTHER

    Those on the SVR mortgage rates are already on typically higher rates and this could rise even further. These rates would not be advantageous considering the rise in cost of living.The following findings were made by L&C after analysing types of mortgage deals homeowners are on:David Hollingworth from L&C Mortgages said:"It is worrying to see so many people still on a Standard Variable Rate...

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    PRIVATE SECTOR RENTS MAY INCREASE BY OVER 20% IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS

    This prediction connotes the following:The data from the RICS survey also showed that about 1/3 of those who responded to it felt that vulnerable tenants were finding it more difficult to access rented housing.According to 24Housing, David Smith, RLA Policy Director, said:"Today's survey is a reminder that it is tenants who will ultimately suffer as a result of the Government's punitive tax...

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    MPS HAVE CALLED ON THE GOVERNMENT TO PUBLISH ITS EQUALITIES ASSESSMENT INTO THE REMOVAL OF HOUSING BENEFIT

    Youth homelessness charity, Centrepoint, has warned that the policy which is to be introduced from April could put 9,000 young people at risk of homelessness.Caroline Nokes, work and pensions minister said this about publishing the assessment:"We did look very carefully under the public sector equality duty at the impacts that this policy would have and shared that information with the social...

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    BRITAIN'S LEADING LANDLORD BODY HITS 30,000 MEMBERS

    The following are facts about the RLA:The RLA said this while expressing thanks to their members:"The RLA is now extending a huge thank you to all its members for helping the association become the leading voice for landlords across England and Wales."Their Chairman, Alan Ward also said:"This is a massive achievement for the RLA - and something we could only dream of when the association was...

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    DEVELOPMENT SET TO BE THROWN OUT BY BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL

    The plans for Bloor's Homes to develop a former golf club into new homes, a primary school, multi-use community hub and new access onto the course, which closed last March, have faced strong opposition from both residents and councillors.Birmingham City Council's development chief said in a report last year that the site which was to be used was not in the new development plan for...

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    HOME-SHARING PLATFORMS AND LONDON'S HOUSING CRISIS

    Copley's discussions yesterday at a City Hall meeting  with Airbnb, short term lettings sites, local authorities and community groups focused on the following:In 2015, guidance was issued by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to remove the need for planning permission to rent out a property or room as temporary accommodation for less than 90 days a year.In Camden (which...

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    BENEFIT CLAIMANTS MAY BE DRIVEN TO POVERTY BY SANCTIONS

    Work Programme providers and jobcentres do not give payments to twice as many people as others in the same area, according to a report by the public accounts committee.Parliament's spending watchdog:According to a DWP spokesperson:"Our sanctions guidance is the same right across the UK and the fact is the number of sanctions has more than halved in recent years."Sanctions are an important part of...

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    HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS AND SHORT-TERM DEBTS

    Assistant director - commercial at the HCA, Will Perry, said:"We would expect debt to rise as the sector develops - that's the way the model works."They gear up to build more assets. The sector seems to have the ability to raise debt at favourable rates - that model is working."What do you think?Please tweet comments @suppsolutionsFor more details, visit Inside Housing....

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    THE IMPACT OF ENGLAND'S BROKEN RENTAL MARKET ON FAMILIES

    The research found the following:Tim Farron, Liberal Democrat Leader, said:"Having a secure home is fundamental for doing well at school and being successful later in life."It's a disgrace that in twenty-first century Britain, so many children don't have this basic right."The rental market needs massive reform to make it cheaper, safer and more secure. It's been neglected for far too long."Due to...

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    HOW THE HELP TO BUY SCHEME HAS HELPED ENGLAND

    Official figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government found the following:The BBC reports what a DCLG spokeswoman said:"Help to Buy: Equity Loan has helped more than 100,000 households gets on the property ladder since it was launched in 2013."It is one of a number of housing schemes provided by the government, so people have a choice of what is right for them."There was...

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    THE MUCH ANTICIPATED HOUSING WHITE PAPER 'POLICIES'

    The new policies in the White Paper stated by Inside Housing are as follows:Here are some retained policies:What do you think?Please tweet comments @suppsolutions...

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    REPORT SHOWS THE NUMBER OF NEW HOMES REGISTERED IN THE UK POST-BREXIT

    The report which was based on data from about 12,000  registered builders who construct about 80% of the new homes built in the UK, revealed the following:What do you think?Please tweet comments @suppsolutionsFor more details, visit IBT Times....

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    PRESIDENT OF CIH CALLS FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO BUILD MORE HOMES FOR SOCIAL RENT

    Julie Fadden, chief executive of South Liverpool Homes spoke about the following at the CIH annual presidential dinner:Fadden also said:"My own home city of Liverpool has suffered some of the largest cuts of any other local authority in the UK and yet it continues to strive with local housing associations to build homes for the future."Together we can achieve so much more", Inside Housing,...

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    REPORT SAYS THE STATE OF ASSYLUM ACCOMMODATION IN THE UK IS A 'SHAMEFUL DISGRACE'

    Yvette Cooper MP who is the chair of the committee made the following clear:The report also found:What do you think?Please tweet comments @suppsolutions...

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    THE HOMELESSNESS REDUCTION BILL MAY BE A CATALYST OF CHANGE FOR THE HOMELESS, IF SOME ISSUES ARE AVOIDED

    "Homelessness is a national crisis. Not just street homelessness, but hidden homelessness in addition to the rise in rough sleeping, hundreds of thousands of people are living in temporary accommodation. These people are hit far harder than most written about in terms of housing", reports, The Guardian.The homelessness crisis has been ongoing for many years without the government giving utmost,...

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    REPORT REVEALS THAT SHARED OWNERSHIP IS ONE OF THE BEST WAYS OF GETTING ONTO THE HOUSING LADDER

    The report, Shared Ownership 2.1, shows the following:The deputy chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, Gavin Smart, said:"What this report shows is that shared ownership is now a popular and affordable route for many people in the UK to get a home."As house prices continue to rise, shared ownership is an option for the growing group of people for whom ownership is increasingly...

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    WHY DO LANDLORDS REFUSE TENANTS THAT CLAIM HOUSING BENEFIT?

    Rental listings on websites such as Rightmove often post "No DSS" which means that landlords or agents will not rent a property to someone on housing benefit or local housing allowance. However, websites such as SpareRoom and Dssmove allow for a selection of a "DSS OK" filter.The Guardian reported what housing charity, Shelter said in a blog:"Rising rents and shrinking wages mean that being in...

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    NEW NAO STATISTICS CONFIRMS NEED FOR HOUSING IN ENGLAND HAS GROWN

    David Cameron had announced the million homes target which was confirmed by Minister Brandon Lewis, the housing minister, in September 2015.The National Audit Office inspectors have recently found that Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has:The DCLG said the following in a statement:"We've got the country building again with nearly 900,000 homes delivered and helped more than...

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    244,000 social rented homes could be lost by 2020

    These properties have rents set at up to 80% of the market rate.According to the chief executive of the CIH, Terrie Alafat, the government should at least maintain the social rented homes available or increase their numbers or this would foster "real hardship" for those who are in utmost need of housing.She also said: "The loss of so many of these types of homes is extremely worrying at a time we...

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    FINANCIAL COMMITMENT IS NEEDED TO SOLVE THE HOMELESSNESS CRISIS

    The group expressed their worry about the scare housing situation and a lack of adequate national financial support for an increased house building programme.The following suggestions and statistics were also stated:Councils like Labour run Birmingham, for instance, are fighting against the rise of homelessness as many families are stuck in temporary accommodation.What do you think?Please tweet...

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    FORECAST: THE BRITISH PROPERTY MARKET'S POST-CRASH BOOM MAY COME TO A HALT IN 2017

    The following findings are also embedded in the forecast:Lucian Cook, Savill's UK head of residential research, said:"The effect of Brexit is complicating a natural shift towards the later stages of the housing market cycle when the strongest growth is seen beyond London and the southeast."What is clear is that the housing market does not like political and economic uncertainty and this points...

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    THE NEW LOWER BENEFIT CAP WILL HIT MANY FAMILIES

    According to Inside Housing, the CIH research made the following findings:Chief executive of the CIH, Terrie Alafat, said:"The results of our research are extremely worrying. It shows that the reduction in total benefits is going to hit some of the most vulnerable families of all sizes across England, Scotland and Wales."These families lose out when the cap comes into effect from 7th November and...

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    CAN PREFAB HOMES TACKLE THE HOUSING CRISIS?

    During the second world war, prefabs existed across the country when the Government helped to house families bombed out of their homes by Germans.Improvements in technology would not make the prefabs of poor quality as it was seen to be in the 1940's.The Guardian reports that: "Ministers were said to have been impressed by the fact that some of the new generation of prefabs could be put up on...

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    A TOUGHER STANCE ON IMMIGRATION DUE TO 'BREXIT' MAY DEEPEN THE HOUSING CRISIS

    In research published yesterday, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) said:CEBR economist and author of the report said:"After the Tory party conference in Birmingham, a so-called 'hard Brexit' scenario in which the UK loses access to the single market due to the introduction of immigration restrictions has become more probable."The consequences of this are ambiguous: if...

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    THE SOCIAL HOUSING REGULATOR HAS DOWNGRADED A MANCHESTER HOUSING ASSOCIATION

    St. Vincent had referred itself to the regulator after an internal audit to let it know of the problems with reporting recommendations from fire risk assessments conducted from September 2015 to July 2016 and has retained it's "V1" financial viability rating.The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) said:"SVHA needs to strengthen its operational control arrangements to ensure adherence to all...

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    BRITAIN'S HOUSING MARKET AND INFLATION

    According to the Bank of England's (BoE), Financial Stability Report released just after the UK voted to leave the EU in June: "The high level of UK household indebtedness, the vulnerability to higher unemployment and borrowing costs of the capacity of some households to service debts, and the potential for buy-to-let investors to behave procyclically, amplify movements in the housing...

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    FLAGSHIP:MANY TENANTS RISK NOT BEING ABLE TO AFFORD THEIR RENTS

    Research put together by Flagship Group and carried out by Sheffield Hallam University made some findings.The report , How Affordable is Affordable Housing? looked at 2,628 weighted responses from its tenants to a survey and made the following findings:What do you think?Please tweet comments @suppsolutions...

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    THE UK HOUSING MARKET IS "CONTINUING TO HOLD STRONG POST-BREXIT", ACCORDING TO THE CEO OF ONE OF THE UK's LEADING ESTATE AGENT

    Smith's assurance was due to figures that the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed earlier this week which are:According to Smith, this definitive data "defies the grim forecasts of a housing collapse, and tumbling prices".He said this about the market slowdown in capital:"This comes as buy-to-let landlords and overseas buyers continue to venture out of the capital and into regions...

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    THE CLG STRONGLY SUPPORTS THE 'HOMELESSNESS REDUCTION BILL'

    The committee welcomes the Homelessness Reduction Bill's focus on homelessness prevention. The new report recommends:Clive Betts MP, chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee, said:"The committee strongly supports the Homelessness Reduction Bill, which seeks to address many of the issues we found during our earlier inquiry into homelessness. These included unacceptable levels of...

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    RICS SURVEY SHOWS AN EXPECTED FALL IN LONDON HOUSE PRICES

    The lead indicator of the housing market (RICS) made the following findings:RICS chief economist, Simon Rubinsohn, said:"Buyers do appear to be returning, albeit relatively slowly, but the big issue that continues to be highlighted by the respondents is the lack of fresh stock to the market."Central London remains something of an outlier with contributors telling us this is the one part of the...

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    GARVIN BARWELL, THE HOUSING MINISTER SUGGESTED THAT PARENTS SHOULD LEAVE THEIR HOUSES AND SAVINGS TO THEIR GRANDCHILDREN

    According to Barwell, this decision could help to reduce intergenerational financial inequities. He also said this to a fringe meeting at the Conservative party conference in Birmingham last week:"Generally in life, we all like to think that our children are going to be better off than us. In terms of new technology and life expectancy, they are going to be."But at the moment, as things stand,...

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    LINCOLNSHIRE HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS DISCUSS MERGER

    The two housing associations, Shoreline Housing Partnership and Boston Mayflower which have 8,000 and 4,800 homes respectively, have discussed coming together.A decision on whether to go ahead with the merger will be made at the end of the year as consultants are studying it's cultural, financial and service impact.The merger would lead to a landlord with a combined turnover of £52.4m.Chief...

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    PRIME MINISTER SAYS THE HOUSING MARKET NEEDS TO WORK FOR EVERYONE

    The PM said this at the close of the conference, according to 24 Housing:"It is not right that the housing market continues to fail working class people."The market needs to work for working people. That is what the government can do."She also said the 'Right to Buy and Help to Buy Schemes" were crucial in achieving the goal of building more houses and buttressed a point on innovation thus:"We...

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    CABINET MINISTERS PLEDGE 5 BILLION POUNDS TO AID IN TACKLING HOUSING CRISIS

    This money will be used for the construction of at least 40,000 new properties, to reduce the gap between demand for homes and supply of affordable houses and flats, iNews, reports.Sajid Javid, the communities secretary and Chancellor Phillip Hammond insist that this will enable more people to find houses in the areas under maximum pressure.The fund will provide the following:Mr Sajid Javid,...

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    NEW CHANCELLOR HAS ANNOUNCED THE ENDING OF THE HELP TO BUY GUARANTEE SCHEME

    Mr. Hammond announced the ending of the Help to buy guarantee scheme in a letter to the Bank of England governor, Mark Carney.According to him, the scheme was introduced with a specific purpose which has been successfully achieved and that it would close at the end of the year.In Autumn 2013, the Help to Buy scheme was launched by Mr. Osborne in his statement as a "landmark" scheme that would...

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    FAMILIES ARE LEAVING THE CAPITAL DUE TO RISE IN VALUATION AND RENT INCREASE

    The following are figures and reasons why families are moving out of London:Generation Rent director, Betsy Dillner, said:"London is an incredible city and the decision to move away isn't taken lightly. These people are leaving friends and family in order to find a home they can afford and some are leaving their jobs."This should worry everyone in London, from employers facing a loss of skills to...

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    IS HOME-OWNERSHIP SUPPOSED TO BE AN OPTION ONLY FOR THE RICH?

    According to 24 Housing, former housing minister, John Healey MP, said this at the event:"A million more households became home-owners under the last Labour government but home-ownership has plummeted under the Tories."I'll always fight for more council and public rented homes, but Labour's fight must also be to stop home-ownership becoming an option for the rich."It's why Jeremy Corbyn was right...

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    REDUCTION IN NET PRESENT VALUE DUE TO RENT CUT

    NPV is the 'rental income the landlord can expect over a four-year period less cost'; it is the value of social housing to the landlord.Here are the findings of the research which was based on information gathered on 420,000 homes, according to Inside Housing:Head of Savills Housing Consultancy, Mervyn Jones, said:"The data shows that, in general, housing providers are responding to the rent cut...

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    THE HOUSING MARKET IS ALIVE AND ACTIVE AFTER BREXIT VOTE

    The analysis made the following findings:Chairman at Jackson-Stops & Staff, Nick Leeming, said:"Three months after the UK's historic vote to leave the EU, the property market remains alive and active."There are more properties on the market today than on the day of the Brexit vote, and there has only been a marginal decline in the number of properties under offer. House prices have also declined...

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    INSUFFICIENT HOUSING FOR WOMEN ON RELEASE

    This report found:The director of the Prison Reform Trust's program to reduce women's imprisonment, Jenny Earle, said:"A tent and a sleeping bag are no answer to meeting the housing needs of women on release."Safe, secure accommodation is crucial in breaking that cycle of crime, and all the harm it causes to our communities, to victims, to the women involved and to their families."A Ministry of...

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    THE THINK TANK HAS CALLED FOR A REFORM OF THE PRESENT HOUSING ASSOCIATION MODEL

    "The government needs to urgently move away from a one size fits all policy towards housing associations if it is to meet its target of one million new homes by 2020",according to Chris Walker, author of the think tank report where this was stated.Mr. Walker also said:"A new settlement will give well-run housing associations freedom to run their own organisations in the most efficient manner,...

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    GOVERNMENTS FEAR 'RESTRICTED BORROWING' WHICH MAY ARISE FROM RECLASSIFYING HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS

    The ONS is expected to reclassify housing associations as public sector bodies.Ministers do not want this reclassification because such a move would put housing association debt on the national balance sheet, which would mean association borrowing is restricted.A consultant and former head of social housing at Dunfermline Building Society, said:"My fear is that new lenders will be put...

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    PRIVATE RENTED HOUSING MAY NOT BE AFFORDABLE TO MANY REFUGEES

    The report which is looking at the progress of the Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme, the UK government's flagship effort to take in 20,000 Syrian refugees, showed the following:According to the NAO:What do you think?Please tweet comments @suppsolutionsFor more details, visit Inside Housing...

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    HOUSING MARKET MAY BE SETTLING DOWN AFTER INITIAL SURPRISE OF THE EU REFERENDUM

    Two months ago, after the EU referendum, Rics had the forecasted a major fall in sales. Conversely, over the next five years, they are forecasting a 3.3% a year increase on average; the most optimistic prediction since the EU vote.According to Rics:Rics' chief economist, Simon Rubinsohn, said:"There are clear signs that the housing market is settling down after the initial surprise of the...

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    ISSUES OF HOMELESSNESS ON THE RISE IN GLASGOW

    Mr. Graeme Brown said the following to Evening Times while he visited George square to launch a new campaign to catalyse public and political support to fix the issue of homelessness in Scotland:"Despite good progress in recent years, we are still failing too many people in our society, particularly the most vulnerable, with the most basic of human rights - the right to shelter and a home."It is...

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    HOW HOME OWNERSHIP HAS CHANGED IN THE UK

    The following shows the state of the UK housing market:What do you think?Please tweet comments @suppsolutions Visit the Telegraph for more details and statistics...

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    BEWARE OF SCAMMERS WHO CON DESPERATE TENANTS DUE TO HOUSING CRISIS

    The fraudsters have approached people in the following ways:Tower Hamlets Council have confirmed that the people selling the scheme have nothing to do with the council, the service does not exist and the website is a scam.The Mayor of Tower Hamlets said:"We will be working closely with the police to track don those responsible for this scam."Not only are these fraudsters seeking to fleece...

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    THE EFFECT OF BREXIT VOTE ON THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY AND ECONOMY

    "A poll by Reuters of almost 60 economists has predicted that Britain will decline by 0.1% for the next two quarters and enter recession this year", reports 24Dash.National Housing Federation analysis also showed a decline in housebuilding similar to that of the 2008 recession would over the next decade:Chief executive at the National Housing Federation, David Orr, said:"We know that an uncertain...

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    FORECAST: IMPROVEMENTS IN EUROPE'S HOUSING MARKETS

    S&P predicts that residential property prices will rise in almost all European markets this year,  despite economic uncertainties created by the UK's decision to leave the EU and the UK's home prices are expected to fall over the next 18 months, reports Property Investor Today.  Chief economist for Europe, Middle East and Africa at S&P Global Ratings, Jean-Michel Six, said:"While uncertainties...

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    HOUSING, YOUNG PEOPLE AND WELSH LANGUAGE COMMUNITIES

    CHC says it's time to bring the Welsh language "home".'Housing  our Futures: Keeping Young Voices in the Community' is a forum that would be chaired by the head of corporate services at Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd, Rhys Evans.Chief executive of CHC, Stuart Ropke, said:"Although, the links between housing and health, the economy, education and tackling poverty are all well established, an...

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    HOME OWNERSHIP IN DECLINE AS A RESULT OF THE HOUSING CRISIS

    "The growing gap between earnings and property prices has created a housing crisis that extends beyond London to cities including Manchester", reports the GuardianThe Resolution Foundation, think tank said:"Home ownership across England reached a peak in April 2003, when 71% of households owned their home, either outright or with a mortgage, but by February this year the figure had fallen to...

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    RIGHT TO BUY POLICY WILL END IN SCOTLAND

    Since this policy was introduced by Margaret Thatcher's government in 1980, almost 500,000 council and housing association homes were sold under it.Although, it allowed tenants in social housing to buy their homes at discounted rates, there were concerns that it had contributed to a major shortage of social housing.The chief executive of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA),...

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    THE NEED FOR COUNCILS TO RESUME THEIR "HISTORIC ROLE" AS HOUSEBUILDERS

    This report suggests that these tremors will not prevent the average UK home costing about £40,000 more in five years time, the BBC reports.According to the Local Government Association, the need for councils to be given the chance to resume their "historic role" as housebuilders, was greater following the uncertainty caused by the UK's vote to leave the EU.Peter Box, LGA housing spokesman,...

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    SUPPORTED HOUSING AND LHA CAP AVOIDANCE

    This is because supported housing units leased to a non-registered subsidiary would be classed as private instead of social housing.The exemption would only meet the needs of supported housing provided by private landlords also known as 'exempt accommodation'.The government's new LHA rates would not apply if:Policy and practice officer at the Chartered Institute of Housing, Sam Lister, said:...

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    HOUSING ASSOCIATION DOWNGRADE

    The following issues were put into consideration by the regulator:Chief executive of Derwent, Peter McCormack, said:"While disappointed by the news of the downgrade we are working with the HCA to address their concerns. The board is developing an action plan with a view to regaining compliant status as quickly as possible."What do you think? Please tweet comments @suppsolutionsPicture Credit:...

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    HOUSING SHORTAGE AND INFLATED UK PRICES

    Osborne envisages that "based on the average price of a home in the UK, the average residential property could fall in value by more than £50,000 within two years of the vote, in comparison to what it would be if the UK stayed in the EU".Recent figures from Yorkshire Building Society shows that: "The number of homes currently been built remains significantly below the government's target of...

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    THE HOUSING MARKET AFTER BREXIT VOTE

    A latest monthly survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) made the following findings:Rics said:"This is the most negative reading for near-term expectations since 1998."Simon Rubinsohn, Rics's chief economist also said:"Big events such as elections typically do unsettle markets so it is no surprise that the EU referendum has been associated with a downturn in...

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    NEWCASTLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT WINS HOUSING DESIGN AWARDS

    Pat Ritchie, chief executive Newcastle City Council, said: "The Ouseburn Valley has a strong sense of community and heritage, dating back to the start of Industrial Revolution. We have built on this sense of history and community spirit to create attractive low energy, eco-friendly homes that meet the needs of our residents and supports the ongoing development of the area."A Malings resident,...

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    LOCAL AUTHORITIES AND HOUSING BENEFITS AFTER CAP

    Funding was shared according to how much was spent in each local authority area on housing benefit and how much was lost through welfare reforms and the removal of spare room subsidy:Campbell Robb, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, said the payments were a "temporary sticking plaster".He also said:"To fix this crisis for good, the government must commit to building homes that people on...

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    THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT AND HOUSING PLANS IN EDINBURGH

    The Local Development Plan (LDP) which is set to be reviewed to ensure a continuing five-year housing supply is achievable will guide housing developments in Edinburgh.The government has also suggested that the LDP should be modified to include further housing land release at a strategic level but all identified housing sites in the proposed plan should be kept.Convener of the planning...

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    BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL WINS HOUSING AWARD

    Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust (BMHT) Programme, which won the Public Sector Award at the Urban Design Awards for its Newtown redevelopment last year was highlighted when this award was given, according to reports by 24Dash.There was a focus on their recent projects in Nechells, Sutton Coldfield and Ladywood at the awards ceremony.The following are the achievements of the BMHT...

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    HOUSE PRICES MAY FALL AFTER BREXIT

    Property experts also made the following findings:Richard Donnell, insight director at property consultancy, Hometrack said:"As a result of the vote, the near-term prospects for the UK housing market looked very uncertain,"The immediate impact is likely to be a fall in housing turnover and a rapid deceleration in house price growth as buyers adopt a wait and see the short-term impact on financial...

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    QUEEN RECOGNISES HOUSING INDUSTRY MEMBERS

    Below are those who were awarded an OBE for their services to the housing industry, reports 24Dash:"Roger Victor John Cadbury for services to the Bournville Village Trust in Birmingham and to charity in Warwickshire."David Ewan Cameron- Director, Community Land Scotland for Services to community land ownership in Scotland."Paul Doe, Chief Executive, Shepherds Bush Housing Group (SBHG) for...

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    WHY HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS MUST SPEAK OUT

    The shadow housing minister also expressed his worry:"The sector went quiet after doing the deal on the Right to Buy. I think it's disappointing that they made such little contribution to the public and policy debate around the Housing and Planning Bill... I want to see housing associations find their voice again."Mr Healey also gave a warning that with upcoming debates on housing benefit cuts...

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    REDUCTION IN SCOTTISH HOUSING DEMAND

    There has been a "sharp decline in demand from buyers, with a drop in sales in May" according to surveyors in Scotland, reports the BBCRics Scotland, a professional body, reported this fall in demand and said: "supply had now failed to keep up with demand for much of the past three years".They also found that:Rics Scotland director, Sarah Speirs said:"Across the UK, it appears that we are...

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    10 MILLION POUNDS TO BE INVESTED IN NEW DUNDEE HOMES

    Councillor John Alexander, in recognising the need for more affordable housing said the following:"... with the best will in the world, it is not at all easy creating safe, energy-efficient homes from scratch in the places people want to live."That's why we are discussing such projects with social landlords across the city now and being as flexible and adaptable as we can in our approach."In...

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    HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS INTENSIFY EFFORTS ON EFFICIENCY

    "Associations have reduced operating costs and cut rent arrears, whilst still improving services" according to a report by Housemark for National Housing Federation, 24 Dash reports.Benchmarking data submitted by over 250 English housing associations to analyse customer satisfaction, overheads, housing management, repairs and maintenance, and energy efficiency 2008/2009 were analysed by the...

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    LONDON BOROUGHS FAIL TO ENSURE DEVELOPERS PROVIDE AFFORDABLE HOUSING

    Due to the findings above, there now exist thousands of homeless families which have led to the following vices:Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London has promised "thousands of new affordable homes to buy and rent", BBC reportsWhat doyou think? Tweet comments @suppsolutionsFor more details, visit BBC...

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    WHAT MIGHT SOLVE OUR HOUSING CRISIS?

    Jack Self, a writer and architect, while thinking through the consequences of the housing crisis on how people would live in the near future, identifies that in the past, our society was able to liberalise because people were able to stop living with their parents due to the post-war welfare state;And a society in which there isn't much intergenerational sovereignty can't help being socially...

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    RENTS ARE AT THEIR HIGHEST LEVELS IN 2016

    Average rents for homes to let across England and Wales have now reached £793 per month as of April 2016.Rents in the East of England have seen a new all-time record of £848 in April, up 6.2% from last April; average rents in the West Midlands are also going over the £600 per month barrier.On a month-on-month basis, this represents an increase of 0.3% or the fastest monthly rise since...

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    HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS AND RIGHT TO BUY REPLACEMENTS

    Inside Housing reports that:"A 'sounding board' helping to develop the extension of the 'Right to Buy' made up largely of housing association representatives and led by the National Housing Federation, recommends allowing all properties built by landlords to count as replacements - except those in other government programmes.""it means, if accepted, homes built without cash from Right to Buy...

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    Residents in supported accommodation in Canterbury could be affected by new housing rules

    Currently anyone moving out of supported accommodation would be able to join the Housing Needs Register, however new plans will see that only particular people with vulnerabilities will be placed on the register, reports the Canterbury Times.The changes are amongst many amendments to the scheme and will be discussed on the 16th September. Other proposals include changes to the banding for...

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    Hundreds of tenants in Flintshire feeling the impact of the bedroom tax

    Latest figures by the local authority in Flintshire have found that 660 residents are £236,457 in arrears to due the impact of the bedroom tax, reports the Daily Post.In a report to councillors, chief office for community and enterprise Clare Budden has said: “The impact of welfare reform is well known with the spare room subsidy – commonly known as bedroom tax – affecting Flintshire...

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    Social housing to be built in Gloucester after 25 years

    Construction has already begun on one site and hopes to be finished by February, reports the Gloucester Citizen. Chief executive of Gloucester City Homes, Ashely Green, has said: “It is an exciting time for Gloucester City Homes as we are now seeing all our hard work become a reality. The amount of work that has been undertaken on site so far is impressive and we are looking forward to its...

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    Bedroom tax sees re-let times fall

    Housemark surveyed 178 social landlords and found the average void turn around dropped by two days in 2014/15 compared to the previous year. The equalled the 25.7 days average which was recorded before the bedroom tax came into effect, reports Inside Housing.The research found that the amount of rental income lost due to empty properties had fallen year-on-year by £32m to £208.5m according to...

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    Government plans could see rouge landlords forced to repay housing benefit

    In a government discussion paper it says, “an effective enforcement regime is essential to drive up housing standards in the private rented sector and tackle criminal landlords” reports Inside Housing.The document has arisen after ministers say they are “exploring the scope” for extending ‘rent repayment orders.’Cash from rent repayment orders is retained by the local authority and...

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    New supported living scheme opens in Hereford

    Red Coat Close has been developed by Sanctuary Group in partnership with Herefordshire Council and the Homes and Communities Agency, reports 24dash.Managed by SSL, the scheme includes 10 one-bedroom apartments, along with a shared lounge, kitchen and communal garden. It will also have tailored on-site support and is available to residents from staff to help them live independent lives.Simon...

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    Funding for temporary accommodation in Royal Borough

    The council anticipates the purchase of up to 39 properties, with 27 two-beds and 12 three beds, reports 24dash.Due to the growing number of households in temporary accommodation the council is considering locations including London, the M25 and southern counties.Cllr Nick Paget-Brown, the Leader of the Royal Borough, said: "The reality is we are facing a great shortage of properties in which to...

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    Exemptions likely for supported housing

    The government has said that supported housing is expected to be exempt from new rules that force social landlords to reduce rents by 1%, reports Inside Housing.Many landlords expressed concern that rent cuts were likely to have a bigger impact on supported housing, as it is more expensive to run.Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) officials have since told Inside Housing that...

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    Tamworth Council protects sheltered housing from cuts

    Tamworth Borough Council has taken steps to protect its services that support older and disabled residents living in sheltered accommodation, reports the Tamworth Herald. After Staffordshire County Council ending its supporting people grant fund in March 2015, Tamworth council has undertaken a review into sheltered housing services for residents who were affected.In October 2014 a full...

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    Supported accommodation project for people with dementia to be built in Middlesbrough

    Middlesbrough Council is looking into the “provision of a viable alternative to residential/nursing care” for people over 50 with dementia in Hemlington Grange, report the Gazette Live.Councillor Julia Rostron has said: “The proposed scheme will result in an investment of more than £2m in an area of the Hemlington Grange development site that would otherwise be underdeveloped and will...

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    Rent arrears rising in Swansea due to bedroom tax

    The figure stood at £1,078,902 in 2013-14 — a surge of 27 per cent on the previous year. The total rent collected in 2013-14 was just over £52 million, reports the South Wales Evening Post.2,400 social housing tenants in Swansea were affected however hosuing officer manager Peter Williams has said, "It could have been far, far worse if we had not been proactive in working with tenants."It has...

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    Social landlords must enforce new ‘pay to stay’ rule

    George Osborne has trailed the new measure that will mean that social housing tenants earing £40K in London and £30k outside of London must pay market rent or “at least something close to it”, reports Inside Housing.The Treasury have said that this policy will be compulsory for housing association and local authorities.The Treasury could not confirm if the policy would require legislation,...

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    Supported housing to be created on former depot sight

    21 self-contained one bedroom apartments with on-site warden accommodation will be created on the former repairs workshop for Frontierland, for people with disabilities, report The Visitor.Coun Darren Cliffod spoke at Monday’s city council planning meeting, saying the plans were welcome and would replace “an eyesore” as well as providing up to 20 jobs.What do you think of this? Tweet us...

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    Welfare reforms leave housing associations reluctant to house vulnerable people

    A report by the thinktank, which is based on interviews from 32 housing associations, councils and local enterprise partnerships in south England, has made fourteen recommendations for the government and social landlords, reports Inside Housing. The findings reveal that “a number of councils maintained that housing associations have changed their approach to nominations by introducing strict...

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    23% rise in the demand for social housing Exeter

    Figures have revealed that demand for social housing in Exeter and East Devon sees thousands of people on waiting lists for somewhere to live, reports the Exeter Express and Echo.9.8% of these households are classed as being in urgent need of housing; however 51% are classed as having ‘no housing need’ by the council.The figures show a 23% rise in need of social housing in Exeter from the...

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    Charities concerned for young people following housing benefit changes

    Doorstep and YMCA Humber say the potential changes – announced in the Queen's Speech – are "in danger of leaving young people homeless and with nowhere to live”, reports the Grimsby Telegraph.Julie Walmsley, senior manager of Doorstep, said: "Charities in this region understand the need for the government to reduce the levels of youth unemployment and the overall spend on welfare. There are...

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    Young people leaving care place in ‘unsuitable’ accommodation

    Through the BBC Radio 4’s File on 4 programme it has been found that thousands of young people leaving care are placed in inappropriate housing, reports the BBC.Official data for 2013-14 shows that 78% of care leavers across England are said to be living in places which are safe and meet their needs.Jenny Clifton, Principal Policy Adviser for Safeguarding at the Office of the Children's...

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    New supported accommodation opened for young people in Gainsborough

    Supported housing provider West Lindsey District Council and the Homes Communities Agency are behind the project, reports Worksop Guardian. The site in was acquired by Axiom Housing Association from Acis last year, and is part of their extension to its Market Rasen Foyer. The accommodation will be provided for young people between sixteen and 25, and along with offering a place to live the...

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    DHP pots overspent by Scottish councils

    Local authorities were allocated £47.2m for DHP funds, however new figures show that the total spent was £50.5m; with 18 councils overspending and 14 underspending, reports Inside Housing.Within the figures it is revealed that 118,000 out of 132,000 applications for DHP were given in 2014/15.The average award value was £429, which varied from under £200 in South Ayrshire to nearly £760 in...

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    Emergency welfare support tripled by social landlord

    For the past two years Thirteen Group has offered a £330,000 annual pot of money to support tenants who have been affected by the government's welfare reforms over the last two years. This year, however, they have increased their budget to £850,000 due to the reduction in DHP payments, reports Inside Housing.The funding is targeted toward people who have issues with failing tenancies or void...

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    Housing crisis preventing young people becoming homeowners

    A report has said that the number of young people able to buy homes could fall by almost 50% within the next five years, unless the government addresses the housing shortage, reports the Guardian.The report by housing charity Shelter looked at government figures which showed that the number of new homes last year was well below the level needed to meet demand.Many young people are now stuck in...

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    Social housing in Wales receives £108m boost

    This money will be available for councils and housing associations to improve homes along with creating jobs and training opportunities, reports the BBC.The funding is part of a five year target for brining 200,000 social homes up to quality and safety standards.Housing minister Lesley Griffiths has already signalled her intention to end right to buy in Wales  to prevent the loss of local...

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    Benefit sanctions cause one in five claimant deaths

    Following a freedom of information request from a research with Disabled People Against Cuts, Anita Bellows, the DWP have admitted that of the 49 peer reviews carried out into the deaths of benefit claimants, ten had received a sanction "at some point in their claim", reports 24dash.Ms Bellows told the Disability News Service: "Because DWP is refusing to publish these peer reviews, the only thing...

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    Six year high of tenant evictions

    Figures reveal that the number of tenants evicted from their homes is at a six year high with rising rents and cuts to benefits the main reason behind it, reports the Guardian.Over 11,000 families were evicted by bailiffs in England and Wales in the first three months of this year, which is an 8% increase on last year and a 51% increase from five years ago.Separate figures also showed almost...

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    Framework for social housing tenants in Wales created to help them pay their rent

    20 Welsh local authorities have been working in partnership with the Welsh Local Government Association and consultants from the Welfare Reform Club to develop the framework for awarding discretionary housing payments, reports 24dash.The Welsh government has called the new framework ‘ground-breaking' and aims to maintain flexibility and discretion for local authorities to meet the demands of...

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    New £ 3.9m housing scheme opens near Hull

    The opening of the Railway Housing Association scheme in Mill Rise, Swanland, near Hull, was performed by David Orr, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, reports 24dash.The new housing sees an old block of flats replaced with sixteen modern two-bed apartments, and has a grassed roof to help improve the insulation of the building and surface run of rainfall. A further ten two-bed...

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    Housing charity finds just 43 homes in London are affordable for families

    The number of affordable properties in London was just 43, which could be lower if house boats and mobile homes were not included, reports 24dash.In England on the whole over 80% of properties on the market are not affordable for families looking to get on the housing ladder.Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said: "Over 80% of homes on the market are off limits for a typical family, and this...

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    Charities believe UK housing breaches human rights

    A group of housing charities have warned that the UK is in breach of its own United Nations human rights commitment to provide people with adequate homes as the housing crisis is so serious. They cite soaring housing rental costs, unhealthy conditions in homes, and rising levels of homelessness and warn of "profound issues of lack of supply, increasing housing costs, lack of security of tenure...

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    Research looks at financial struggles of social housing tenants

    The survey carried out by the national charity Turn2us has found that a quarter of social housing tenants have also seen their debts increase over the last 12 months, reports 24dash.The research has been released to coincide with Benefits Awareness Month and also looks into the financial struggles of households that have experience the onset of illnesses or disability, a change in working hours,...

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    Bedroom tax evidence to be given by the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations

    The SFHA are being asked to testify on the efficacy of the Scottish Government's decision to lessen the impact of the bedroom tax in Scotland whilst also looking at how the move has worked in practise, reports Scottish Housing News. Jeremy Hewer, SFHA housing policy advisor, said: "Over the past couple of years, the Scottish Government has exercised its financial powers to mitigate the effect of...

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    Housing charities concerned over difficulties councils find in housing tenants

    Shortage of social housing means that councils are offering landlords cash payments of up to £4,000 to accommodate homeless families, reports the Guardian.Councils in the south-east of England and London are now advertising cash incentives to private landlords to get them to agree to let council-vetted tenants for two years.In Haringey in north London and the nearby borough of Barnet , private...

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    Social housing applicants facing tougher tests

    A snap poll by Inside Housing has found that a total of ten out of thirteen housing associations who manage 185,400 homes have taken on a tougher stance on potential tenants since 2010, and seven had brought in income checks for applicants.Reasons for the new rules include the affordable rent regime and welfare reforms, with landlords saying it's bad for both tenants and landlords in they're...

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    Housing chiefs in Manchester to consider health targets

    Managing director of City West Housing Trust, David Cummins, has said that he and his colleagues are meeting to find a way of quantifying housing's worth in health terms, reports Inside Housing.As of next year Greater Manchester Strategic Health and Social Care Partnership Board, under the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, will be responsible for a £6bn a year joint health and social care...

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    Social housing landlord in Wales sees rise in digital payments

    RCT Homes has partnered with secure payment solutions provider allpay which allows its residents to pay through multiple payment options including cash, card and direct debit acceptance, reports 24dash.Over the last year RCT Homes has received over £700,000 in rental income through online and mobile collection channels. This represents almost 60% of the value of payments it takes via debit and...

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    Social housing tenants face rent increase due to conversion to "affordable" homes

    To make up a shortfall in government funding housing associations in London have quietly switched thousands of tenancies to higher rates seeing households hit by a £70m rent rise, reports the Guardian.Figures from the Greater London authority have shown that 25,000 homes in London have been converted from "social" housing to "affordable" housing since 2012. Social rents are typically half market...

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    £35m boost for care and supported housing announced by Boris Johnson

    This is the second phase of the care and support housing fund which offers loans or equity finance for private house builder to deliver specialised housing project for older people or adults with disabilities who wish to live in their own homes, reports Building.co.ukDevelopers are also able to bid for grants to finance mixed-tenure developments which will include private and affordable housing...

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    UK benefits cap deemed to be lawful

    The Supreme Court has found that the government's benefit cap risks leaving claimants unable to house, feed or clothe their family which is a clear breach of UK obligations on international children's rights. However it did not find the cap unlawful, reports the Guardian.It found the secretary of state for work and pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, had failed to "show how the cap was compatible with...

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    Youth homelessness could be increased by housing benefit cuts

    Research has found that taxpayers would save £3m rather than the estimated £120m from stopping young people from claiming housing benefit, whilst also increasing the number of young people who are homeless.Heriot-Watt University and campaign group End Youth Homelessness' report - ‘Lifeline not Lifestyle' -reveals that not only would savings be small, but  only 140 additional young people...

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    New regime to protect PRS tenants

    The council's executive has approved a scheme which aims to tackle high rates of poor property management in shared homes on Holloway Road and Caledonian Road. This comes after council officers surveyed houses in multiple occupation in both roads last year and found issues with over two thirds of properties, reports 24dash 208 homes were inspected and of this 140 had problems with fire alarms...

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    Scotland could receive powers allowing them to create their own benefits

    The Scottish Government has said that ministers in Westminster are considering ‘rewording' parts of proposed legislation which gives some housing benefit powers to Scotland, reports Inside Housing.The Scottish Government have said that the redrafting would be in three areas which includes the power to create new benefits and to supplement other welfare payments.A major commission set up by the...

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    Housing for young people is top priority for YMCA

    Within the manifesto are five key areas for change: housing & accommodation, family work, health & wellbeing, training & education, democracy & youth engagement, reports 24dash.The recommendations include needing to build more affordable housing to proposals for a 'Help to Rent' scheme which could help more young people save for a deposit and cope with expensive monthly rents.YMCA England chief...

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    Lack of affordable housing leaves people stuck in supported accommodation

    Residents at the charity's Surbiton branch have said that even after finding work they weren't able to save money as they found their housing benefit was reduced meaning money then had to go towards rent. They said that if it wasn't for the YMCA they would be back on the street, reports the Surrey Comet.The Government pays YMCA residents housing benefit towards their hostel rent.Receptionist...

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    Drop in the number of possession claims issued by social landlords

    Possession claims occurs in a county court as part of the legal process for gaining possession of a property if a tenant is in arrears or has broken a tenancy agreement. The Ministry of Justice published figures that show social landlords issued 97,924 possession claims in 2014 which is down 9% on the figures from the previous year, reports Inside Housing.The suggested decrease in claims is due...

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    Over 10,000 people across Lanarkshire have had their benefits cut

    North Lanarkshire is the second most affected local authority in Scotland with 6026 housing benefit claimants losing on average £9.59 a week as a result, reports the Daily Record.The council in North Lanarkshire have said that around 97% of people claiming housing benefit have been given discretionary housing payments.Stephen Llewellyn, operations manager at North Lanarkshire Council said:...

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    Victims of bedroom tax are also facing a cut in council tax support

    The New Policy Institute (NPI) have found that 270,000 people who have been affected by the bedroom tax are also having their council tax benefits reduced as well, reports 24dash. On average, people have seen their housing benefit reduced by £15.61 a week due to the under occupancy policy and since council tax support was cut in 2013 they are also having to pay £2.86 a week in rates."The change...

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    Effects of an ageing population on housing associations in the UK

    It is estimated that there will be over 16 million people aged over 65 in the UK by 2034 - nearly 3 million will be over 85, 24dash reports.The Smith Institute's report, sponsored by Genesis Housing Association, predicts that housing associations with 30,000 homes will have 7,500 more tenants aged over 65 within the next 20 years. This will create extra revenue pressures of £12.5...

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    Housing Trust deals with tenancy fraud

    It has been using various means to promote the campaign via Facebook, and bus shelter and petrol pump advertising, 24dash reports. The campaign encourages people to report those who they think are committing tenancy fraud.  They have been told to alert the Trust if they think people are lying on their housing applications or move out of their Weaver Vale homes and rent it out to others.This is...

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    Council homes involved in trial of new technology

    The technology has been developed by Japan's Department of New Energy and Development Organisation (NEDO). They signed a deal, worth up to £20m, with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to trial it in the UK, Inside Housing reports.  This system has never been used anywhere in the world and its first use will be in 600 Greater Manchester households - including the Wigan homes. Air source...

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    Programme which supports people with vulnerabilities saves public purse millions a year

    The programme provides beneficial support to the following groups of people:·         Homeless people and those who are at risk of losing their homes.·         Socially excluded groups such as substance misusers and ex-offenders.·         People with long-term support needs such as physical or learning disabilities and those who have mental health...

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    Council faces challenges over homelessness policy

    Resident Hakima Alemi will be heard in the High Court, where she will be represented by law firm Hodge Jones & Allen.She contends that this scheme is 'unlawful' as it suspends homeless people from bidding for social housing until a year after their homelessness acceptance, Inside Housing reports.Furthermore, Alemi argues that Westminster's policy breaches the 1996 Housing Act which states that...

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    Benefit sanctions for people with mental health issues

    This figure was an average from data gathered in January 2009 and took into account overturned decisions, Inside Housing reports.The last month for which data is available is March last year, when around 4,500 people with mental health problems on Employment and Support Allowance were sanctioned.DWP records revealed the most common reason for being sanctioned is lateness or no arrival of a person...

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    Housing association supports needs of older people

    The acclaimed Community Trust Housing (CTH), part of the Network Housing Group, has been noted for its hard efforts by the British Irish Council (BIC) social inclusion workstream and various other officials from across the UK, Scotland, Wales, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. These officials are working together to share their practices of social inclusion of older people, 24dash reports. CTH's...

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    Funds to repair thousands of London’s council homes

    These funds have been secured through the government's decent homes backlog funding programme and will be used for council tenants across nine London boroughs for internal and external repairs to help improve living conditions, 24dash reports.Improvements will soon be take place in Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Haringey, Tower Hamlets, Camden, Lambeth, Kingston upon Thames, Southwark and...

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    Young people in supported housing accommodation

    The YMCA surveyed 300 residents for the report, and found that more than half of the residents in supported accommodation felt ready to move out but felt stuck as they could not due to the lack of suitable housing to move into, Inside Housing reports.80% of the residents mentioned they were worried about finding somewhere to live when they moved out of supported housing accommodation. Due to...

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    Technology to revolutionise health care

    Prof Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England's medical director, believes that wearable technology that can record heart rates and other health information will revolutionise healthcare, Guardian reports.The doctor further explained that devices worn on the wrist that record your heart rate, calorie intake or running distance can help to secure the NHS's future.He also believes that gadgets like fitness...

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    Budget cut by 10% for housing department

    The Department for Social Development (DSD), responsible for housing, has had its funding cut by almost 10% in a budget. The Northern Ireland government announced that the budget for 2015/16 will be £715m down from £790.3m, Inside Housing reports.Social housing sector figures had feared cuts more severe than those outlined in November's draft budget due to Stormont's need to find cash for a...

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    London housing associations to complete thousands of homes by March

    According to the Greater London Authority (GLA), they must complete more than 12,000 homes in the next three months, or face paying back grant, Inside Housing reports. However, around 8000 of these will not be completed until March, causing them to warn of ‘risk to delivery'.The completion of the programme for the set deadline is a growing concern at City Hall. However, a spokesperson for...

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    Increased spending of housing associations due to welfare reform

    This was to encourage new tenants to move into larger homes due to the government's welfare reforms.Inside Housing carried out an analysis of 100 of the largest housing associations' annual financial statements. These had shown that there was an increase from £2.38bn in 2012/13 to £2.48bn in 2013/14.Knowsley Housing Trust (KHT) reported its spending increased from £3m to £17.9m in 2013/14. It...

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    Charitable foundation plans to set up a housing association

    This charitable establishment recently saved the tenants of a London estate, New Era, from eviction. Chief Executive of Dolphin Square, Jon Gooding, explained that it was planning the change so it could take advantage of cheap funding and financial gains that only housing associations had access to, Inside Housing reports. It is working on the development of 1,000 homes for low and middle...

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    Council on fairer housing allocation

    The council is proposing to change the way housing association and council homes are allocated. It is considering whether local people who have lived in the borough for five of the last seven years, overcrowded families and those with young children need to be given higher priority, 24dash reports.People who receive or give care and people who cannot be found homes will also be made priorities...

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    Homelessness applications decrease in Scotland

    Scottish Housing Minister, Margaret Burgess stated, ‘We are working closely with local authorities and their partners to prevent homelessness'The Scottish Government has revealed that local authorities had received 9,059 applications for homelessness assistance from July to September 2014 which is a 3% decrease from 9,359 applications received over July to September 2013.This decrease also...

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    Private renters struggle to find other housing alternatives

    The National Housing Federation (NHF) published statistics from a survey which revealed that 63% of private renters between the ages of 25 - 44 years old believed that they would have bought their own house by now.The survey consisted of 1,183 private renters found that 28% felt unable to put their roots down as they may have to move soon.This figure has risen to 32% which is one in three amongst...

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    Joint landlords and their newly formed housing association

    The two landlords, Jephson and Raglan, made an announcement that they would work together in the autumn of 2013. They introduced their new enterprise, Stonewater, on 31st December 2014, 24dash reports. The new organisation has around £160 million in turnover and £1.6 billion in assets.The Homes and Communities Agency gave its assent to the merger in September 2014.Chair of Stonewater's board,...

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    Increase of House Prices Over Last 12 Months

    Property website Zoopla has revealed that the average home in Britain is now worth £268,895. This has increased from the figure at the end of 2013 which was £253,704. The majority of this increase was during the first 6 months of 2014. Inside Housing reports. Different areas in England experienced increases in prices; south east of England (9.4%), east (7.8%) and south west (7.2%). However,...

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    Housing benefit claimants in Bedford are the worst hit by cuts

    Figures from the Department for Work and Pensions has found that in August this year 641 claimants in Bedford had their housing benefit cut, compared to 427 in North East Bedfordshire and 268 in mid-Bedfordshire, reports the Bedfordshire News. Bedford MP Richard Fuller voted against the motion to remove the spare bedroom subsidy. Mr Fuller said: "It is important to consider why the reduction in...

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    Almost a third of tenants in the private rented sector struggling to pay rent

    As a result, many have had to cut back on food and heat. Inside Housing reports. According to the YouGov poll, 41% of those with children find it difficult to pay for their home and 8% struggle to pay rent every single time that it is due.More than a quarter of families with children in the private rented sector have had to save by reducing their spending on food, and 24% said they were cutting...

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    Affordable homes built in time for Christmas

    Leading housing and care provider, Sanctuary Group is celebrating the completion of 28 affordable homes at Slater Street in Middleport. They have all been leased in time for Christmas.   The properties, part of a wider £14m scheme partly-funded by the Homes and Communities Agency, have been built by Sanctuary's construction partner Seddon. 24dash reports. The housing development consists of a...

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    New Era Housing Estate being bought by homes provider

    The estate was in the spotlight earier this year when Russell Brand protested against its new owners' planned rent hikes. The New Era Estate is in Hoxton and was built with the purpose to deliver affordable accommodation in the 1930s for the working class.The organisation, which is part of the Dolphin Square Charitable Foundation, made a deal with current owners Westbrook Partners, a...

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    Homelessness Vulnerability Test

    This test judges vulnerability by comparing a homeless person with an ‘ordinary homeless person'.This has been one of the most important cases for homelessness law in recent years. Charities Crisis and Shelter disputed with the government over what it meant for a homeless person to be ‘vulnerable' and how desperate they would need to be in order for housing decisions to be made. Inside...

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    1 in 6 Brits having to borrow for housing costs

    Research has revealed that one in six Brits paid their mortgage or rent by borrowing money in October.  The Debt Advisory Centre's (DAC) survey found that people aged 18-24 years were most likely to have paid their housing costs on credit. Nearly one in three (29%) admitted to doing so to avoid missing their payment.The survey also concluded that one in twelve people (8%) are in debt with either...

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    Council on Landlords' Poor Accommodation

    A three month consultation was launched by the council earlier this year involving residents, private landlords, business and other stake holders in areas across the borough.Four out of five of the 3,672 residents who gave their views believed selective licensing would help improve the proposed areas, and 85% felt that the council should have more control over the way that private landlords...

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    Poor management of homeless people means local authorities face Supreme Court challenge

    Housing charities Crisis and Shelter, with the support of other homelessness and housing organisations, have stated that the outcome has the potential to address an injustice which has led to many people having taken to the streets after being rejected help from their council. Reports 24dash.Currently, the law withstands that when a person presents themselves as homeless, they must prove that...

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    DWP overturns bedroom tax due to room size

    This is a setback for those who are against the bedroom tax by arguing that if the room is small, then it should not be considered a bedroom due to overcrowding definitions according to the Housing Acts in Scotland and England.The tribunal ruling found that there was no relevant link between the definitions of overcrowding in the Housing Act and bedroom tax regulations. The Housing Act states...

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    Plans to expand council house building in East London

    Funding has been secured by the local authority and sites for 435 new homes have been established which will be implemented by 2018.It already has £9.7m allocated in grant for the 2015/18 affordable homes programme, a loan facility of £7m from the Department for Communities and Local Government and £3m in retained Right to Buy receipts. The grant will support the construction of 387 new...

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    Brits in support of social housing in their local areas

    All adults were above 16 and interviews during the period 24/10/14 - 02/11/14. It was also shown that 58% of the British public would support more council and housing association homes being built in their local area. Also, research from the recent Housing Day has shown that 67% thought that social housing plays a large part in tackling poverty.The NHF concluded that the survey emphasised the...

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    Rising property prices leads to thousands of evictions daily

    Housing charities are calling for the support and protection for these renters. In November, the number of tenants evicted from their homes in England and Wales hit record levels.Figures from the Ministry of Justice show that 11,100 properties were repossessed by bailiffs between July and September this year. Shelter, a homelessness charity, estimated that over 1,300 people a day (560 households)...

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    A large number of jobless Eastern Europeans aren't receiving housing benefit

    A survey by the Department for Work and Pensions into the impact of the government's decision to withdraw housing benefit from Eastern European jobseekers has found that very few were claiming it in the first place, reports 24dash.The figures help to dispel the myth that Eastern European migrants are a key factor behind the UK's £160 billion annual benefits bill. The survey reports: "The survey...

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    Church of England passes motion against bedroom tax

    The motion on the bedroom tax has been passed with 249 in favour, none against and three abstentions, reports 24dash.It stated: "That this Synod, noting the rise in the number and seriousness of reported concerns about the impact of the Spare Room Subsidy (the 'Bedroom Tax') on the vulnerable and others, call on the Mission and Public Affairs Council:(a) to evaluate the findings of research into...

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    Research has found that only one in ten people will live in social housing by 2040

    Forecasts for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation have predicted that the current generation of primary school children are facing private rents that will cost 90% higher than the cost of renting at the start of the recession, reports 24dash. By 2040, just one in 10 will be living in social housing, down from the current figure of 8.2 million to 5.7 million in 2040. Meanwhile, social rents will...

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    Over 20,000 homes are no longer facing a benefit cap

    From April 2013 and August 2014, 51,200 households had their housing benefit capped, reveals the Department for Work and Pensions. By August 2014 this number had dropped to 27,200 households. 40% of households no longer subjected to the cap are exempt with an open Working Tax Credit, reports Inside Housing.The statistics also revealed that 46% of benefit capped households were in London and of...

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    Work programme failed to help people with vulnerabilities into employment

    These findings confirm complaints from social landlords that ‘harder-to-help' claimants have been forgotten by contractors, reports Inside Housing.The report also found that almost 90% of people claiming employment and support allowance have not moved onto jobs.Margaret Hodge, the committee's chair, said: "Evidence shows that differential payments have not stopped contractors from focusing on...

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    Over a million working people are claiming housing benefit

    These figures reveal that of the 4.99 million people who received housing benefit in May 2014, 21% were in employment, reports 24dash.Responding to the figures, a DWP spokesperson said: "Since May 2010, the number of out-of-work housing benefit claimants has fallen. It is better that people are in work, paying taxes, contributing to their rents and with the prospect of increasing their earnings....

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    Almost half of UK social housing tenants have no money left after bills

    A report from Real Life Reform has found that an increasing number of households are growing increasingly concerned about falling into further debt, whilst many are reducing repayments in an attempt to make ends meet each week, reports 24dash. The report reveals that:•         Average household debt is now £3,931 - a 71.8% increase since the research started in July...

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    788 refunds for bedroom tax tenants secured by housing association

    MHS Homes has used a loophole to persuade Medway Council to reverse the benefit cut imposed on tenants, reports Inside Housing.Through this loophole MHS were able to exempt its tenants from the bedroom tax because whilst it is a large scale voluntary transfer association, it is unusual as it's not registered as a provider with the Homes and Communities Agency.Due to this LSVT status, its tenants...

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    Families in London would be unable to afford rent if the benefit cap is lowered

    If the Conservative's policy is implemented developing landlords in London have said they could be forced to radically scale back development as a result, reports Inside Housing. David Cameron announced on Monday that the benefit cap - currently £26,000 a year - would be further reduced to £23,000 if the Conservatives win a majority in next year's general election, affecting a further 70,000...

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    Increase of in-work benefit claimants linked to benefit overpayments

    A report by the National Audit Office has found that the rate in error of housing benefit has gone up by 4.4% in 2013/14 from 3.8% in 2012/13, reports Inside Housing.The report states that this is mainly due to claimants failing to inform councils or give details of their changes in income, although there is no fraudulent intent."The main source of claimant error comes from unreported...

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    Government plan to offer cheap lending for housing for older people

    The government has yet to release details of ‘Phase two' of the Department of Health's (DoH) £300m care and support specialised housing fund but Inside Housing understands it will take the form of low-cost loans or equity stakes on terms similar to the government's Build to Rent fund.Landlords will be able to access around £170m in DoH funding in the programme's second phase.The first...

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    Income divide widened by social housing tenant's debt

    Merseyside-based Riverside's 'Challenging Times, Changing Lives' project is following 20 tenants over three years to assess how people are coping with the government's austerity measures, reports 24dash.The fourth of the projects' six-monthly updates has revealed that the lowest income group is experiencing a greater struggle than previously reported. This group has taken on more debts to cover...

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    More PRS housing support is needed for young people

    The all-party parliamentary group on the private rented sector wants the government to review housing benefit rule and loosen planning restrictions on rented property, reports Inside Housing.In the reports it also calls on the government to examine whether planning powers are unduly restricting the supply of new private homes to rent.Oliver Colvile MP, chairman of the all-party parlimentary group...

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    Bedroom tax victims account for a third of all evictions in Stoke

    Figures shows that in the last eighteen months 65 households were served their notices by Stoke-on-Trent City Council after they'd fallen behind on their rent, however 25 of those families were evicted due to the government's bedroom tax, reports The Mirror.Due to this North Staffs Against Cuts is calling on the council to introduce a no eviction policy for people who are affected by the Bedroom...

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    Landmark tribunal ruling could make it tougher for people appealing against bedroom tax

    An upper tier tribunal last month ruled that all first tier tribunals must follow a High Court ruling in favour of the bedroom tax, meaning over 100 current claims against the policy are unlikely to succeed, reports Inside Housing. The tribunal has ruled in favour of the government's policy against a disabled Inverclyde housing association tenant and concluded that all courts must follow a High...

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    Removal of housing benefits to under 21's to be resisted by Lib Dems

    Communities minister Stephen Williams has said that the Tory party's flagship housing and welfare policies would be resisted by the Liberal Democrats if they find themselves in coalition again after the 2015 election, reports Inside Housing. "We fought them already in this government about taking away housing benefit from young people. Personally I think that is utterly crazy," he said in an...

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    Rise in the number of working households claiming benefits

    In a report by the NHF it shows that middle income households earning £20,000-£30,000 a year have accounted for two thirds of all new housing benefit claims over the last six years, reports 24dash.With the number of households claiming housing benefits despite being in work rising by 22% since 2008 the NHF are predicting that it could rise even further in the next five years.The NHF believe...

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    Removal of housing benefits for young people, pledge Tories

    Speaking at the last Conservative Party conference the prime minister said that his party would also cut the household benefit cap by £3,000 from £26,000 if they're in power after the next election, reports Inside Housing.These plans will see most unemployed young people losing their entitlement to housing benefit.The reduction of the total household benefit cap and the restriction on housing...

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    Over 600 tenants appealing against bedroom tax

    Almost 1,500 households owned by Coast and Country Housing have been affected by the under-occupancy penalty with many of these being vulnerable tenants, reports 24dash.A recent tribunal success has encouraged the social landlord's Tenant's Working Together Group to share knowledge and assist tenants in appealing.Kim Gallagher chair of Coast & Country's Tenant Panel, said: "The Bedroom Tax is...

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    Right to move consultation for social housing tenants is launched

    Eric Pickles, Communities Secretary, announced that a consultation on how local authorities can ensure existing tenants will have a guaranteed ‘right to move' will be launched, reports 24dash.This means that existing council or housing association tenants finding new work in a different location will not have to sacrifice their home for work.Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: "We want to...

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    Error in housing benefit rises

    Statistics from the Department for Work and Pensions show that the total value of housing benefit overpaid due to claimant or council error has increased by 9% from last year, reports Inside Housing.Along with this there has also been a large decrease in the number of benefit cases referred for council fraud investigation between March 2013 and the same month this year.Ministers have said that...

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    Coalition to discuss housing benefits in House of Commons

    Lib Dem MP Andrew George wants more people to be exempt from the bedroom tax and Nick Clegg has ordered his MPs to back Mr George's bill. The Tories however have been ordered to vote against the bill today, reports the BBC.If Mr George's bill is successful people who could not be found a smaller home would be exempt from housing benefit changes. People with disabilities in need of a spare bedroom...

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    New homes built to support victims of bedroom tax

    The Guinness Partnership's £1.3 million development in the Scale Hall area will deliver six two-bed houses and 12 one-bed flats arranged as semi-detached pairs, reports 24dash. The new homes are expected to be complete by January.Richard Parker, an architect at Harrison Pitt Architects, the firm that designed the homes, said: "Recent changes in government housing policy are fuelling a demand...

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    £120,000 paid by Shropshire council due to bedroom tax

    Freedom of Information requests by the Shropshire Star have found that 568 people were awarded discretionary housing payments due to bedroom tax from April 2013 to March 2014. This totalled a cost of £119,974.95.A spokeswoman for Shropshire Council said: "These are people who have a shortfall between their rent and their housing benefit payments. There are many reasons why a household may be...

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    Benefit claimants urged to pay extra rent in advance by housing associations

    Housing associations are telling tenants on benefits to make extra rent payments in advance so that they avoid ending up in financial difficulties once they are transferred to universal credit, reports the Guardian.These instructions by housing providers are reflecting concerns that people will default on payments once they have to begin paying rent themselves, a month in advance, under universal...

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    Statistics show 1 million working people are relying on housing benefit

    Figures from the House of Commons reveal that 962,000 housing benefit claimants have a job this year compared with 478,000 in 2009/10 reports Inside Housing.Since 2011, housing associations have built new homes and converted existing ones to affordable rent, for which tenants pay rents of up to 80% of the market rate to make up for lower levels of government funding. Rachel Reeves, shadow work...

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    Torbay Council rejects emergency payments for housing benefit claimants

    Figures from Freedom of Information request reveal that 1,673 applications were made for Discretionary Housing Payments between April 2013 and February 2014, and only 40%, 641, were approved, reports the Torquay Herald Express. Overall £353,669 was awarded as of February this year, from a budget of £393,853. Of that amount £47,825 was awarded to households affected by the bedroom tax with...

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    The bedroom tax has impacted on grant allocations

    77% of homes to be developed in 2015-18 will be one and two bedroom homes due to the government requesting providers focus on smaller-sized properties, reports Inside Housing.This allocation has been interpreted as a reaction to the bedroom tax with tenant's under-occupying needing smaller homes.Melanie Rees, policy and practice officer at the Chartered Institute of Housing, said: "It is quite...

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    Tenant rating system could help people with vulnerabilities find accommodation

    They believe that this would make landlords more confident in letting their properties to people who have vulnerabilities. The suggestion is based upon a scheme by Hartlepool Council so that people with vulnerabilities who have been unable to get landlord references after they have left prison or been homeless get a chance of finding a property, reports Inside Housing.The Hartlepool scheme has...

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    Report shows the impact of the bedroom tax

    A study into the impact of the removal of the spare room subsidy has found that 300,000 people affected were in rent arrears just five months after the charges came into force, reports the Local Gov.Over the same period almost 41% of tenants had reported to have paid the additional rent and 39% had only paid a portion of it. 57% of people affected had reported that they were cutting back on...

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    Call for bedroom tax vote in the autumn

    Last Thursday, Danny Alexander, Liberal Democrat chief secretary to the Treasury, said the party had ‘reviewed its position' and now believed only those who turn down a suitable offer of an alternative home should have their benefits reduced.  However, the Lib Dems had voted against a similar amendment to the bill, proposed by the House of Lords, when the policy was originally going through...

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    Over half of tenants with benefit cuts are ‘struggling to pay'

    Over 300,000 tenants have been affected by the spare room subsidy rules were in arrears five months after changes came into effect in April last year, reports the BBC.Analysis by the Department for Work and Pensions analysis has found that few tenants have managed to move to avoid the penalty. The DWP has said its overall housing benefit changes would save billions of pounds; however housing...

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    Changes to housing benefits proposed by Lib Dems

    The Lib Dem Chief Secretarty to the Treasury Danny Alexander has said it was "time to take stock and change our approach", reports the BBC.A Downing Street spokesman said the Conservatives are committed to reforms. He added that the Lib Dems "have never demanded the abolition of the spare room subsidy in private and have campaigned for it in public."Mr Alexander has proposed that nobody should...

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    Study finds bedroom tax is making low-income tenants chose between heating or eating

    A government-commissioned analysis of the policy's impact reveals that thousands of low-income tenants have been plunged into ‘heat or eat' hardship due to the bedroom tax. The study has found that 60% of the 523,000 tenants affected have been unable to meet housing benefit shortfalls of between £14 and £22 a week in full, reports the Guardian.The report found that many tenants are cutting...

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    Thousands of tenants facing eviction without rent arrears

    Citizen's Advice Bureau has said it's seen a 38% increase in arrear-free tenants being threatened with eviction, with 5,000 cases  in 2013/14 which is up from 3,750 the year before, reports Inside Housing.The Bureau said landlords are trying to remove tenants due to them wanting to cash in on rising property prices and sell the home. Landlords are also accused of hiking rents to unaffordable...

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    New housing development to help victims of the bedroom tax

    The 62 two-bed homes development have been developed to meet the rise in demand for smaller properties to prevent people losing benefits due to the under-occupancy charge.  Social landlords Cobalt Housing, Liverpool Housing Trust and Beechwood Ballantyne Community Housing Association - all part of Symphony Housing Group - are behind the schemes, which are worth a combined £6.5 million, reports...

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    Housing associations reveal the pressure of bedroom tax

    Labour MPs Julie Hilling (Bolton West) and Alex Cunningham (Stockton North) revealed how social landlords in their constituencies had seen a sharp rise in arrears due to the controversial under-occupation policy, reports 24dash.Hilling said: "Bolton at Home tells me that its arrears stand at £1.9 million, even though it has a 97% collection rate and has employed an additional 11 people to...

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    Review of bedroom tax to be published by the summer recess

    The welfare minister was quizzed by Baroness Quinn in the House of Lords in October last year and he said the report would published by the spring, reports Inside Housing. A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions has said that the timeline for the report would be published ‘in due course'.Lord Freud added that there will be a full report in 2015, when asked about whether the...

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    Affordable housing funding plans announced by housing minister

    Speaking at the Chartered Institute of Housing conference, Mr Hopkins announced that from 1st July housing associations building affordable homes using grants will receive 75% of the grand up front and 25% at completion, reports Inside Housing.  After 31 March 2015, it will go back to the 50/50 split. He said: "This will increase until 31 March 2015 for Communities and Local Government...

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    1,400 empty homes back in use due to council tax exemption removal

    In 2013/14 Birmingham generated £777,000 of additional charges via the empty property premium, reports 24dash.By bringing the properties back to use Birmingham city council will receive an extra £1.8m included in the overall New Homes Bonus of £4.6m in 2014-15.Council leader Sir Albert Bore said: "The council's dedicated empty property team exceeded the 2007-12 target by bringing 1,400...

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    £6m development to help people affected by the bedroom tax

    One of the UK's largest affordable housing suppliers, Home Group, has unveiled its latest development of 49 homes in Colchester. The homes have been built by Weston Homes and form part of its flagship development, Hawkins Wharf, reports 24dash.The 20 one bedroom flats and 29 two bedroom flats have been built to meet level 3 of the code for sustainable homes.     Darren Blake, Home Group head...

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    Increase in the number of renters at risk of losing their home

    Over 7,600 renters at risk of losing their home have called Shelter for advice in the last year, which is the equivalent of almost 150 callers a week, reports 24dash.Shelter has released these figures as part of its campaign to protect renters from ‘revenge evictions'.The charity's research has revealed that over 213,000 people have been served an eviction notice or have been evicted in the...

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    Labour warns housing benefit bill will rise by £1 bn

    Rachel Reeves MP, the shadow work and pensions secretary, is set to publish data from the House of Commons library which she says could expose the additional funds that will be used to pay people in work over the next four years, reports 24dash.Reeves is set to tell the annual GMB union conference that "The cost of the government's failure to get more people earning enough to put a roof over...

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    One tenant threatens to blow up house due to bedroom tax

    Michael Hilton told bailiffs he would detonate the property in Church, East Lancashire if they tried to enter, reports 24dash. After a three-hour-stand-off with the police he was finally arrested and police said they could smell petrol at the tenants home. The social landlord, Hyndburn Homes, has confirmed that it had taken action to repossess their tenant's home.His son said: "I knew something...

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    Large increase in the number of bedroom tax court cases

    Between June and December of last year 55% of councils and ALMOs, responding to a survey by the National Federation of ALMOS and others, had taken legal action against non-paying tenants as a result of the under-occupancy charge. In a previous survey published in June, the figure was just 2%, reports 24dash.Within the research it was revealed that 16% of social landlords had been granted an...

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    Third of bedroom tax-hit tenants in arrears

    The survey has been released by the National Federation of ALMOs, the Association of Retained Council Housing and the Councils with ALMOs Group found that 33.3% were in arrears, reports Inside Housing.The survey had a response from 52 arm's-length management organisations and councils with a wide geographical split. It discovered regional variations with the southwest of England experiencing the...

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    High Court challenge against bedroom tax lost

    Grandparents Paul and Susan Rutherford care for their fourteen year old grandson in a specially adapted three bedroom home which includes a room used by overnight carers for the teenage. We've previously documented their story before, here. The Rutherfords argued that the third room was necessary for use by their grandson's carers and to store equipment. However Mr Justice Stuart-Smith has...

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    Help to buy is making UK houses more expensive with an increased demand and a dwindling supply

    Lawrence Hall of Zoopla.co.uk also said:"The help to buy scheme was introduced to help grease the wheels for buyers locked out of the market. But fuelling demand was also expected to spark sellers into action and increase the supply of properties available on the market."That spark seems yet to ignite as the overall level of properties eligible under help to buy has actually fallen over the last...

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    Social housing tenants live in fear due to bedroom tax

    An Ipsos MORI survey carried out for the National Housing Federation found that almost a third of people affected by the bedroom tax have said they have to cut back on food and more than a quarter have cut back on heating as a result of this tax, reports 24dash.Almost half of people affected have had to borrow money to help them pay their rent since the spare room subsidiary was introduced in...

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    Charity finds 4,000 households risk losing their home each week

    Analysis of possession notices issued over the last year suggests that 215,000 homes in England are at risk of eviction or repossession and Shelter are warning that rising interest rates would bring more households under threat, reports the Guardian.The research found that people are most likely to face losing their home in Newham in London and Salford is the biggest "eviction and repossession...

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    Bedroom tax challenge for young people with care needs

    Susan and Paul Rutherford from Pembrokeshire care for their thirteen year-old-grandson who suffers from a rare genetic disorder Potocki-Shaffer syndrome in a specially adapted three bedroom bungalow which includes a spare room for overnight carers to stay in.Both of his grandparents suffer from disabilities themselves and struggle to look after him along, so paid carers stay overnight at least...

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    Tenants face eviction due to their refusal to pay bedroom tax

    Wolverhampton Homes, who manage over 23,000 properties, has said that 60% of its tenants have been affected by the under-occupancy policy and have consequently fallen into debt.The ALMo's director of housing, Mark Henderson, has warned that people who are yet to pay any bedroom tax will soon face eviction, reports 24dash. He said: "There are 36 people who have so far chosen not to pay anything...

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    The number of people in work claiming housing benefits has increased by 60%

    A study commissioned by Labour from the House of Commons library has found that 400,000 more working people are claiming housing benefit every year, which is an estimated £4.8bn extra cost over the course of the current parliament, reports 24dash. The Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Rachel Reeves, said: "These shocking figures expose the complete failure of David Cameron's government to...

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    Eviction rates double following bedroom tax

    Through a freedom of information request it has been revealed that Norwich City Council has evicted sixteen households due to rent arrears between April 2013 and January 2014, compared to eight in the same period the year before, reports 24dash. Green Party councillor Ash Haynes, who made the FOI request, said: "This is further evidence that the coalition government's welfare reforms are not...

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    Two-thirds of residents in one borough in arrears due to bedroom tax

    The borough council's finance chief, Councillor Steve Eling, allowed councils to develop a strategy which identified individuals that were falling behind on rent and support them if they are eligible for support through discretionary housing payments, reports the Express and Star.He said: "The way government benefits  reforms have played out on the ground is tens of millions of pounds have been...

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    ‘Biggest ever' social housing tenants survey to take place

    The Tenant Survey has been designed to provide a "decisive snapshot of tenant opinion." It plans to use its HomeSwapper mutual exchange service, which gives it access to over 850,000 tenants, to send out a 20-question survey over the course of two weeks in May, reports 24dash. With a potentially large number of responses, the company says that its findings will not only be "statistically...

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    Housing benefit claims are processed over a week late

    New housing benefit claims should be processed within fourteen days by councils; however figures that have been issued by the DWP reveal the average claim takes 22 days to go through. This is slightly better than last year where the average time was 23 days, reports Inside Housing.A report, that has been commissioned by the government highlighted that benefit delays is a major reason for people...

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    Social housing homes four times more likely to occur overcrowding

    Overcrowding was most common in socially rented homes at 8.7% of the overall social home registered.Data analysts for the ONS have said they believe the prevalence of overcrowding in rented accommodation could be due to affordability, with renters remaining in smaller accommodation to save for a mortgage and with many suitable rental accommodations being unavailable reports Inside Housing.Over...

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    Social landlord sees arrears drop thanks to bedroom tax preparations

    Social landlord, Orbit, has had almost 2,500 homes hit by the bedroom tax with 167 homes having their benefits reduced as a consequence of exceeding the overall weekly cap. Orbit has said that its work on addressing the changes to the benefit system has reduced arrears by around £210,000 while 275 ‘under-occupiers' have successfully been down-sized, reports 24dash.Orbit provides 38,000 homes...

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    Eviction ‘awareness training' by one social landlord

    Red Kite Community Housing is giving tenants who have been served with a notice of seeking possession and who are not acting in line with their tenancy the opportunity to take part in a two-hour course instead, reports 24dash. The social landlord provides 6,700 homes and believes it is best that tenants get a second chance, rather than having them evicted from their homes.The course will see...

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    Chairman reveals how bedroom tax savings will be used

    The former housing minister has been defending the under-occupancy policy, which has caused a lot of controversy, in his constituency of Welwyn Hatfield where rent arrears have soared by 60% since its introduction a year ago. It is said to be the first time a senior member of the coalition has outlined how the money from the bedroom tax well be spent by the government, reports 24dash.Speaking to...

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    One social landlord's ‘bedroom tax beating' development

    Families are now being able to move into smaller and more affordable one and two-bedroom properties in Birkenhead. After realising the bedroom tax was affecting smaller families, the Regenda Group changed its original plans for its Waverly Court development and concentrated on creating 18 one and two bedroom house, apartments and bungalows instead, reports 24dash.One family said: "I couldn't have...

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    Free access to house swapping scheme for residents

    Due to the rising need for people to downsize their homes due to welfare reforms reducing their housing benefit, one housing association is allowing its tenants free access to a home exchange site.The website has almost a quarter of a million homes available for exchange from across the UK. House Exchange is run by Circle Housing, is a not-for-profit service which pairs up prospective partners...

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    Councils have needed over £5m to help bedroom tax shortfall

    The six authorities had an initial grant of £4.2m however had to apply for further funding in discretionary housing payments, making the total £5.2m. The money is given by the councils to tenants who have seen their housing benefits reduced as a result of the spare bedroom subsidiary, which has seen many tenants lose up to 25% of their housing benefits if they have spare bedrooms in their...

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    New tenancy sustainment protocol for social housing tenants in Nottingham

    Newark and Sherwood Homes have released a new tenancy sustainment and eviction prevention protocol. The goal of these new protocols is to help tenants keep up to date with their rent payments and help them clear their debts, reports the Nottingham Post.With this new protocol, pursuing evictions will be seen as a last resort.Newark and Sherwood district have seen a 9% rise in the number of tenants...

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    Removal of safety net sees £120 council tax rise

    Through the use of freedom of information requests, a joint investigation by the Guardian and the campaigning organisation False Economy have found that from April, 83 local authorities are reducing the protection for residents with vulnerabilities. The survey of local authorities revealed that over 670,000 of the poorest households in England will face an increase in council tax of £120 a year...

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    Only 6% of social housing tenants have moved after housing benefit changes

    On 1st April the benefit changes will have been in place for a year and BBC analysis of data from social housing providers suggest that 28% of tenants affected have fallen into rent arrears and only 6% have moved home. The government were hoping that the changes would free up larger homes and save taxpayers over £1m. Prof Rebecca Tunstall, director of the centre for housing policy at the...

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    DWP to make changes to the way social landlords apply for 'alternative payment arrangements'.

    According to Inside Housing, social landlords in four ‘pathfinder' areas in the north west of England have complained of delays to APA requests, poor communication from the DWP and instances of the department failing to acknowledge requests.The DWP has agreed to make changes, including bringing in a standard form for APA requests.The NHF, in a newsletter issued on Monday, said:"There is an...

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    Nearly 40,000 social homes will fail to meet decency standard by 2015

    According to the review:Housing associations and councils also estimate that:Inside Housing reports that exemptions are granted to landlords if there are financial, legal or technical reasons why the standard cannot be achieved.The highest non-compliance rates across all landlord types are for the energy efficiency criterion.Michael Cameron, chief executive of the SHR, said:"Landlords are making...

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    A committee of MPs complain about bedroom tax action flaw

    According to the Evening Telegraph, Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney has already announced he is topping up a fund to £50 million so he can offset the benefit cut, known as a tax by its opponents.But a committee convener Ian Davidson, a Labour MP says the action does not go far enough, and he was against the use of discretionary housing payments (DHPs) to tackle the problem.Davidson...

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    Housing providers can benefit from receiving consistent fire advice from 6th April

    Inside Housing reports that the government is extending the ‘primary authority' scheme to fire safety from 6th April.To date, no social housing providers have registered for the scheme, however a spokesperson for the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills said a number were ‘in conversation' with local authorities and fire and rescue services.Jan Taranczuk, vice chair of the Chartered...

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    The percentage of homeless families forced out of London rise by 1000%

    According to 24Dash.com, the figures also show that 2,687 other families with children were forced to move to another London borough in the same period, compared to 1,428 in 2010/11.The number of homeless families with school-age children being housed outside London by their local authorities has soared dramatically over the last four years.The rising figures make a mockery of London Mayor, Boris...

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    Housing Association's new partnership hopes to keep tenants in their homes

    The tenancy sustainment services by Shropshire Housing Alliance and The Wrekin Housing Trust will assess prospective residents to see whether additional support is needed to help them maintain their tenancies, reports 24dash. Tenants will be given help with budgeting support, which includes saving plans, banking services and how to deal with debts, alongside access to low-cost furniture,...

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    Abandoned flats could become supported housing

    Adelphi Court in Storey Square, Barrow, has suffered from anti-social behaviour and posed management problems for Barrow Borough Council. Due to this the council's housing committee suspended future letting in August 2013, and at the time over 12 flats were vacant.  Since then more vacancies have occurred and there is currently only one occupied flat. Housing manager Colin Garnett has written a...

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    Ministers have been urged to build more accessible homes in the UK

    Habinteg has welcomed the government's response to the housing standards review, however it has also stated its disappointment at the fact it hasn't taken the opportunity to standardise upwards by protecting the accessible adaptable standard, reports 24dash.Habinteg chief executive Paul Gamble said: "We called for accessible standards to be included in the building regulations and we are pleased...

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    Beginning a business could help bedroom tax victims

    Setting up a business to bring the spare room into use could help tenants hit by the spare room subsidiary escape the tax, says Earl John Atlee.Before setting up the business tenants would first need to get permission from either council or housing association.Earl Attlee said: "The spare room subsidy encourages people to make full use of their property and to consider running a small business. I...

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    £400,000 housing benefit missing

    A Channel 4 News investigation has revealed that money is believed to have vanished after being paid to London Housing solutions. London Housing Solutions are a firm that specialise in renting homes to welfare claimant and are currently going into administration, reports 24dash. The firm's current and former directors have acknowledged that the money is missing but refuse to accept any...

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    Social housing staff are becoming increasingly larger to fill the gap in support

    The Frontline Futures study has been commissioned by the Chartered Institute of Housing and Wheatley Group and has said that "in many cases" housing staff want support to help them cope with the "fear, distress and suicide threats" from tenants, reports Inside Housing.  Tenants who responded to the survey also said they would to see even more of their housing officers.The study has been carried...

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    A rent holiday for up to date tenants

    Chorley Community Housing is offering a rent free special as it reaches the end of its financial year. Their income officer Elaine Ollerton said:  "CCH collects rent over a 48-week cycle, which means that in the two weeks at Christmas and at the end of March, anyone who has paid their rent on time every week and whose account is up to date gets a ‘rent free' period."Those behind on their rent...

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    A step in the right direction for housing benefits and people with disabilities

    Before this new ruling the word ‘adapt' in housing benefit cases related solely to changes to the fabric or structure of the property. However, following a recent case the Court of Appeal has decided that the term could now also include works such as redecoration or carpeting, which previously fell outside the scope of the definition. The court has decided that a case-by-case examination was...

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    Some social housing tenants have managed to avoid welfare reform

    Chief executive of Circle Housing, Mark Rogers, has said that 20% of its tenants who were hit by the bedroom tax and 40% of those hit by the overall benefit cap are now no longer affected by the changes.This is apparently due to a combination of tenants finding work, downsizing, receiving discretionary housing payments or by taking a new person into their home, reports Inside Housing.The number...

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    DWP say housing benefit will be sanctioned

    The current system sees housing benefit paid directly to landlords and sanctions only applied to out-of-work  benefits, for example jobseeker's allowance or employment support allowance. The Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed to Inside Housing that under the government's flagship welfare reform, if a tenant is working less than 35 hours a week at minimum wage and is not eligible for...

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    Court ruling on legality of bedroom tax for disabled people

    Over a three-day hearing in January, the court heard a challenge to last year's High Court ruling of the implementation of the government's under-occupancy policy is legal when applied to disabled adults living in social housing, reports 24dash.The High Court accepted that the rules are discriminatory however it decided that for disabled adults and some disabled children it was justified and...

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    Bedroom tax loophole closed

    The Department for Work and Pensions has advised its staff that the loophole, which sees anybody who had continuously claimed housing benefit whilst living in the same property since 1996 being exempt, has been closed. Rather than the DWP intervening directly it has put the responsibility on councils to sort out the problems at a local level. Some sources have estimated that 40,000 to 60,000...

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    Affordable housing to come from empty offices

    Raglan Housing is going to convert Orchard House in Southampton's Station Quarter North regeneration area after securing funding for £2.5m from the Homes and Communities Agency to develop 30 properties under its empty homes programme.Raglan is also set to convert a three-storey, former working men's club in Chard, Somerset, into five one and two-bed flats. The scheme is due for completion in...

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    Housing scheme increases single bed housing for North Wales

    North Wales Housing has acquired a brownfield site in Llandudno and after demolishing the existing unoccupied building will begin to create the new development of nine one bedroom flats, names ‘The Stables.'Once ‘The Stables' is complete it will help to meet the growing need of single bedroom properties. It has been developed to Sustainable Homes Code Level 3, with high levels of insulation...

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    ‘Pre-1996' bedroom tax exemptions have been dramatically underestimated

    According to the DWP "less than 5,000" residents nationally have been affected by the oversight, however Liverpool City Council revealed 1,600 residents are eligible for refunds while Wigan council put their figure at 350. Earlier in the week Birmingham City Council announced 2,000, people are due refunds, Sheffield 500 Wirral 600 and Westminster 124.The total figure from these six councils...

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    Number of bedroom tax households owed refunds confirmed my Westminster

    The DWP is currently changing the regulations so that the oversight in the bedroom tax policy is amended. This oversight sees people who have been in continuous receipt of housing benefit since January 1st 1996 should not be paying. It has been confirmed by Westminster Council that there are 124 households in the borough who qualify for this exemption, reports 24dash.In a note to councillors,...

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    Pledge to protect vulnerable tenants could be backpedalled

    Current rules allow some supported housing (exempt accommodation) to be protected from the new welfare reforms such as bedroom tax, benefit cap and universal credit. However, accommodation is not exempt if the landlord is not the provider of care or if the landlord is a council. Last April the welfare reform minister said that officials at the Department for Work and Pensions were working to...

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    £90m for landlord to build affordable homes

    Helena Partnerships Ltd is aiming to build social and affordable homes in the North West over the next five years using money borrowed from Warrington Council.Leader of Warrington Council, Terry O'Neil, has described the loan as win-win, reports Inside Housing.He said: "This is one of those genuine win-win opportunities. This loan will help drive regeneration. It will stimulate house building and...

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    North west landlords find arrears up by £1.7m

    Data collected from social landlords in Merseyside, have found that arrears had risen from £21.1m at the end of December 2012 to £22.9m at the end of December 2013.Eight landlords in the survey said they had helped their tenants gain access to £9.1m in benefits which they previously had not been claiming in the 2013/14 financial year, reports Inside Housing.Lynn Bundu, assistant director of...

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    Housing benefit claimants being turned away by landlords

    Four in five landlords surveyed have said that they are unwilling to let properties to tenants who receive housing benefits due to changes to welfare payments. The survey by SpareRoom.co.uk has found that a sharp decline has occurred in the number of landlords offering homes to claimants.A poll consisting of over 1,500 landlords around the country by the Guardian found that only 18% currently had...

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    Bill banning the eviction of tenants in arrears due to bedroom tax

    A consultation on proposed legislation which gives a guarantee of no evictions solely due to bedroom tax arrears shows that four in five councils, housing associations, advice services and law centres support it. Central Scotland MSP, John Wilson said: "My position on the bill will be determined by the detail, the evidence and the parliamentary scrutiny that is applied. Ultimately, the only way...

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    House swap partnership helping social housing tenants exchange their homes

    The West Midlands Making Best Use of Stock Partnership's ‘Let's Swap' scheme provides tenants with an online service to co-ordinate exchanging their homes with others.The scheme launched in July 2013 and over 4,000 customers have registers with 60 residents already exchanged their homes, reports 24dash.The partnership enables tenants who need to downsize due to the bedroom tax swap with those...

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    First council to give bedroom tax refunds

    The council has found 31 cases where social housing tenants have been paying the bedroom tax when they shouldn't have been. This figure represents 4.5% of the council's 624 residents hit by the tax, reports 24dash.If this percentage from Exeter was used as a guide for the country as a whole, the figure could be around 29,700 for people in the UK who had been illegally hit by the bedroom tax.Cllr...

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    Bedroom tax loophole identified

    Thousands have been wrongly identified as liable for the bedroom tax due as a result of a Department of Work and Pensions error. Housing experts say that around 40,000 people could be affected by this new mistake; however the DWP believe only a "small number" of tenants are affected. The people affected could be eligible for refunds worth an average of at least £640 per claimant and millions in...

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    Housing association to see 1,000 tenants as part of improvement scheme

    North Lincolnshire Homes provides 10,000 homes and is sending out a team of officers to broach residents on their concerns, offer benefits advice and make sure the social landlord has details of everyone living at the address, reports 24dash. The 1,000 addresses have been selected from across North Lincolnshire at random to take part in a pilot programme, though there are long-term plans to roll...

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    Bedroom tax costing more than saving says minister

    Whilst the controversial under-occupancy policy was designed to cut government spending, the Scottish housing and welfare minister Margaret Burgess has said that the annual costs of implementing the penalty will exceed savings by £10m. In a letter to the UK's minister for welfare reform, Lord Freud, Ms Burgess cites the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities' finding that show the loss in...

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    Figures show it would take five years to rehouse Westminster's bedroom tax victims

    The council says that 393 tenants are currently on the list of households affected by the under-occupancy policy. In the seven months from April until the end of October 2013, just 44 tenants affected by the bedroom tax managed to downsize.Currently the council has been able to rehouse around six tenants a month and at the current rate it will take five years and three months to move all of the...

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    One in seven people fear missing housing payments in the West Midlands

    It is expected that 43% of people in the West Midlands are going to struggle or fall behind with their rents and mortgages in 2014. Research based on a YouGov survey of over 4,000 British adults has revealed that many people across the West Midlands are unable to face up to their financial difficulties. One in six said that they had not opened post which they believed to contain a bill or late...

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    Social housing rent arrears continues to increase

    The charity is warning that the dramatic rise in rent arrears and threatened homelessness demonstrates that household are not reaping any benefit from the improved economic outlook.The report shows that the Citizens Advice gave advice on 22,412 issues about social housing rent arrears, 2,840 issues about possession claims due to rent arrears, 2,376 issues about threatened homelessness and 3,307...

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    A third of disabled people are refused DHP

    A third of disabled people applying for support from a government fund, designed to give temporary financial support to cope with the cuts to their benefits due to bedroom tax, have had their application refused. However ministers have rejected arguments that the bedroom tax discriminates against disabled people due to the availability of discretionary housing payment to vulnerable households. ...

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    Food bank vouchers for struggling tenants

    Sanctuary Housing's staff are now able to issue food vouchers to struggling tenants which will enable them to redeem three days of emergency food, reports 24dash. Meghan Zinkewich-Peotti, Sanctuary's partnerships manager, said: "I am so pleased that our housing officers are now able to issue food bank vouchers. They work on the frontline with residents so are able to find out quickly if someone...

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    Welfare reforms cost housing association £10m a year

    The report comes from Wakefield and District Housing which shows their story of the first 200 days of the under-occupation penalty. It shows that over 500 of their tenants who were not in debt before the introduction of the bedroom tax now owe rent.The reports highlights how rent arrears and the number of people facing financial hardship and potential eviction has increased. This has meant the...

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    Rent arrears: The fastest growing problem in the UK

    Within the first nine months of this year the charities helping had received almost 20,000 calls from people who found themselves behind with their rent. The charity says that this is a 37% increase compared to the 2011 figure.It has also been revealed that over half the calls made to the National Debtline are now from people renting their home, reports the BBC.  A recent survey by LSL property...

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    80% of people in housing association homes are working

    A report by the g15 group of London's 15 larges housing associations has found that just under 80% of Londoner who live in housing association homes go to work and only 21% are unemployed. They also found that due to low income 60% of working households require housing benefit to pay all or part of their rent.The report also found that 25% of households find that keeping up with bills is a...

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    Successful empty home scheme hits milestone

    The No Use Empty initiative, launched in 2005, has returned this year with a record of 600 long-term vacant homes back in use, which is the most successful such scheme across the UK.Throughout 2013 the council has approved loans that total £2.5m which makes it a recored year for investment. The scheme has also received a total investment of £25m, a third of which comes from the council's empty...

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    ‘Homesteading' to tackle empty English homes

    Homesteading is a process which sees vacant properties being sold at a discount to people who renovate them to create their own homes and was popular in the ‘70s and ‘80s.New independent research from the University of Sheffield in collaboration with charity Empty Homes, looks into the number of empty homes in England and how they could be reduced through the scheme.Shortage of housing in the...

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    Council reports majority of bedroom tax victims are in arrears

    The council has seen the amount of residents in arrears double since the April introduction of the under-occupancy policy. The cut in housing benefit means that every Salford family struck by the tax is losing at least £725 per year.‘Feeling the Pain' is the councils report which details how thousands in the city are struggling to make ends meet as a result of the government's cuts and welfare...

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    £1million in rent arrears and 700 empty properties in Wales due to bedroom tax

    Commenting on the research, CHC chief executive Nick Bennett, said: "Just six months into this policy, we see a double whammy affecting the supply crisis. We've seen a surge in the number of ‘void' or empty properties and 78% of our members have seen an increase in rent arrears, with over £1 million attributed to the ‘bedroom tax'."The research highlights 51% of tenants are paying the...

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    Five New Towns To Be Built By Labour

    Inside Housing revealed in September that Labour has commissioned pilot projects to look at ways councils can work more closely with housing associations and developers to double house building by 2020.The party is looking at diverse ideas, including the formation of council-controlled housing companies to foster development.Reynolds also said:"The last time there was a massive increase in...

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    Development of small properties begins due to bedroom tax

    Social landlord Riverside received the land in Knotty Ash by Liverpool City Council as part of a Mayoral pledge to deliver new homes in the city by 2005. The properties will be one and two bedroom homes."People in Liverpool are crying out for smaller properties following the introduction of the under-occupancy charge. We are delighted to be able to assist this demand while also helping Liverpool...

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    Pledge by councillors to build new council homes

    However research by the Smith Institute found that only 10% actually plan to build more than 1,000 homes over the next ten years and 75% of councillors said they would borrow to build new housing if the government lifted the debt cap.From the survey it was found that councillors do plan to build new homes under the revenue account and new build council housing was also indicated as a main...

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    Labour loses bedroom tax changes

    MPs voted by a majority of 26 to reject the bedroom tax which removes payments to council tenants' properties that are seen to be ‘under-occupied'. However two Liberal Democrat MPs backed Labour's motions.The government believes that it will be able to save £500m as a result of the changes. It argues that the policy was introduced to reduce the housing benefit bill and free up homes for...

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    London will have a 100,000 home shortfall by 2018

    London has a five year pipeline of 28,500 homes per year however it needs closer to 50,000, real estate adviser Savills has warned. In their report it shows that 57% of demand comes from the lowest end of the market however it is not being met which accounts for 21,500 of the shortfall. The report warns that businesses may be driven out of the capital unless the amount of affordable homes is...

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    Council plans not to evict tenants in arrears due to bedroom tax

    Thanet District Council will vote at a cabinet meeting on 14 November on plans to support tenants hit by the government's welfare reform.In the proposals it states that no legal action will be taken against tenants who are in arrears due to the bedroom tax, unless two offers of a smaller property have been made.The council also plans to make 25% of its stock available on direct lets for tenants...

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    1,030 new homes and £110m repairs contract from one council

    Last Thursday night the planning committee approved 1,030 new apartments, 231 of which shall be affordable. Fiona Colley, cabinet member for regeneration and planning, said: "The new homes, with their bold and exciting architecture will replace the lifeless, out-of town, retail-park look the area is associated with. The new Decathlon store will be retained as an anchor to the town centre we're...

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    £15m loan to increase affordable homes

    The council have provided the loan to Soha Housing, for 20 years, and will be secured on the social landlord's current properties.With the loan Soha Hosing will be able to access low cost funding and at least 75% of the home built with the funds must be within the council's area. The remaining affordable properties have to be within 10 miles of the district.The money will also contribute to the...

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    1,000 new homes a year

    ‘Plans for Homes' was unveiled by Plymouth Council on Friday at the South West Housing Summit. As well as releasing the land the council will also be making £50m of affordable loans available to a group of social landlords in the city to develop homes on the councils land, reports Inside Housing.The council aims to offer these home to first time buyer with affordable rent and housing...

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    DWP ‘urgent bulletin' about bedroom tax tribunal decisions

    The bulletin is seen as a sign that the DWP is becoming concerned about tribunals upholding tenant appeals. The DWP says that this is needed as they may appeal against decisions even if councils have chosen not to.The document says:  ‘The DWP needs to get a clearer picture of the number of first tier tribunal decisions where the removal of the spare room subsidy is the main issue.‘Local...

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    A six-month bedroom tax ‘holiday'

    Rhonnda Cynon Taff Homes have said that they will waive the bedroom tax element of 125 of their tenants' rent, if they take part in "back to work" training, reports Inside Housing. The landlord, who has 10,000 homes, has committed £160,000 to fund the scheme and help its tenants downsize.RCT Homes has 2,056 tenants affected by bedroom tax and 983 of these are in arrears. Of that number 504 were...

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    Visa checks could see landlords facing physical danger

    Government plans require private landlords to inquire whether prospective tenants are living in the UK legally. The National Landlords Association said that the property owners confronting tenants could be accused of harassment. However the government have said that the system would be "effective and light-touch".Ministers say that voluntary checks the some landlords currently carry out have...

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    Less than 10% of affordable homes are suitable for families

    The research found that some areas have problems even greater with less than ten affordable homes for sale in an entire local authority area. The charity said that less than 5% of homes were affordable in places such as West Somereset, York and Warwick. They also mentioned ‘black spots' in places such as Brent and Cambridge where not one of the homes available were affordable for a typical...

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    A dramatic rise in rent arrears due to bedroom tax

    A joint investigation by the National Federation of ALMOs, the Association of Retained Council Housing and the Councils with ALMOs Group also found that the total monetary value of arrears rose by 16% in the same period.These three organisations, which represent over 1.3 million council households across the country, have calculated that nationally local authority rent arrears rose by £17.5...

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    A Convicted Killer Who Murdered A Housing Association Vice Chair Has Been Jailed For Life

    Inside Housing reported that Ian John McLoughlin, 55, committed the offence on day-release from prison after 21 years in jail for another murder.Mr McLoughlin admitted to murdering Mr Buck and was told he must serve at least 40 years in prison.Justice Sweeney said this at the sentencing of Mr McLoughlin at the Old Bailey:‘The offence was committed on the day of your first day-release from...

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    Letting Agents Are Fleecing Tenants Out Of Up To 600 Pounds In Non-Refundable Fees

     24 dash.com also reported that nearly 25% of the London letting agents surveyed by Rentify charge over £300 in administration fees, with the most expensive agent charging £600 in East Ham.Rentify CEO George Spencer said:"As if it wasn't bad enough that letting agents charge these unnecessary administration fees to tenants, some of these charges are also passed onto the landlord so the agent...

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    Housing association to create almost 200 affordable new homes

    The group has recently signed contracts with Persimmon Homes for a large development in Taunton; half of these homes will be for social rent and the other half for shared ownership. The development, named Heathfield Gardens, also plans to build a new school, community centre, play area and an open space to be constructed alongside the new homes, reports 24dash.Yarlington's executive director of...

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    Bedroom tax is hitting Welsh tenants the hardest

    The Committee found that 40,000 tenants will be affected and that the government should keep a ‘careful eye' on the development of the policy in Wales. This number represents 46% of all working age housing benefit claimants in the social rented sector. This means that Wales tops the North West and Yorkshire and Humberside as the most severely affected region in Great Britain.It was also found...

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    A Call For Councils To Be Given More Powers To Deal with Bad Landlords

    Mr Jones, who is a representative of the Hyndburn constituency in Lancashire, according to Inside Housing, urged Mr Hopkins ‘to bear in mind the continued problems of low demand and the housing conditions outside the booming areas in the south.'He also called on Mr Hopkins to allow councils to apply licensing conditions on the basis of poor standards and said that councils should be able to...

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    A family Home Could Be Heated For Almost A Week With The Cost Of Bedroom Tax

    24 Dash also gave a report of a North West-based housing association which warned that the average financial loss faced by social housing tenants as a result of the government's controversial bedroom tax could heat a family home for almost a week.Stephanie Harrison, executive director of customer services at the 13,000-home provider, said:"This figure clearly shows the impact the bedroom tax...

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    Bedroom tax savings likely to be less than expected

    Research into the first five months of the bedroom tax scheme suggests that ministers could have significantly overestimated the savings it is likely to generate. An analysis using real data collected by four housing associations since April through a model used in 2012 by the DWP to assess the impact the policy is likely to have, found that savings were likely to be £160m less than the official...

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    Social homes sales have risen by 128% in five years

    In 2012-13, 16,659 social homes were sold, however in 2008-09 only 7,309 were sold. The number of sales for this year to April had increased by 72% from the previous year.More than half of the social homes sold last year were brought with through the right to buy scheme. The 8,398 figure of was more than double the amount bought the previous year and the new junior housing minister said that he...

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    Help to buy II launches today

    Banks have now begun to offer mortgages that will work alongside the government's Help to Buy scheme, which aims to help people secure mortgages.RBS, NatWest and Halifax will now start taking applications for those wanting to secure a mortgage that can only afford a small portion of the deposit.The second part of the scheme has been launched amid concerns of a housing price bubble, however...

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    Proposal for bigger role for housing

    Labour peers and National Housing Federation have made an amendment to legislation that could see town halls subjected to court challenges if they fail to consider housing as part of their care services for older and disabled people.A crossbench peer, Lord Richard Best, has challenged the coalition government's care bill for failing to adequately integrate housing with health and social care and...

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    Bedroom tax found to breach human rights of a disabled woman

    A tribunal judge in Glasgow has ruled in favour of a woman with severe disabilities, saying that housing benefit officials have breached the human rights of the woman after cutting her benefits under the bedroom tax rules.The judge said that the woman, who has remained unnamed, who has multiple sclerosis, and her husband were legally entitled to a bedroom each as her condition was so severe that...

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    Rent arrears is up by £2.2m in six months after bedroom tax introduction

    Twelve Merseyside housing associations have released figures that show £2.2m increase in arrears compared to corresponding period last year. The data also shows that empty properties have increased by 29% to 1,956 and the average time it takes to re-let an empty property has jumped from 28 to 38 days. This results in a loss of rent to landlords of £616,662 per month, reports Inside Housing....

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    Benefit conditions for those without a job is about to change

    From April next year people without a job after being on the work programme will face three options; these include community work, daily visits to a job centre or taking part in compulsory training.  If people do not comply with these they will face losing their benefits.Labour has said that these new plans are proof that the coalition's main welfare-to-work scheme had failed.It is believed that...

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    Help to buy scheme start date brought forward

    At the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, the prime minister announced that the Help to Buy scheme, originally scheduled to begin in January 2014, will be brought forward by three months to begin within days.The decision to accelerate the launch of the mortgage guarantee element of the scheme comes in the face of multiple concerns about its potential to cause a house price bubble...

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    Westminster council loses bedroom tax case

    Surinder Lall has won his appeal against the imposition of the bedroom tax and his case is thought to be one of the first victories against the bedroom tax in England. Mr Lall, who is blind, successfully argued to a tribunal that a room in his flat which had been classified as a second bedroom had never been used as one and was where he kept his equipment that helped him lead a normal life.In...

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    People at risk due to council cutting support for hostel residents

    Bristol council have made severe cuts to support for residents in nine hostels across the city. Up to 150 tenants are affected, many of whom are victims of domestic violence, recovering drug addicts and adults with mental health issues.The residents claim that Bristol's mayor George Ferguson has not met them to discuss the issues, and many are taking legal advice in attempt to get hold of the...

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    200,000 homes to be built a year

    Labour leader, Ed Miliband, in a conference speech focused heavily on the cost of living and pledged that a Labour government would hit the 200,000 annual target by 2020. In his speech Mr Miliband said: "There are nine million people in this country who are renting a home, many of whom would want to buy. We don't just have a cost of living crisis - we have a housing crisis too" reports Inside...

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    Rises in rent arrears and one in ten people being conned by lodgers

    Research by 192.com has discovered that one in ten people have been conned by a lodger, and one in five renters have admitted to concealing their true identity when applying for a property.192 have now launched the first background reports service of UK residents which offers landlords instant profiles of renters. The service will offer negative financial indicators, residential history, property...

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    1 In 3 People On Job Seekers Allowance Faced Penalties

    Inside Housing reported that a study published this week suggests nearly one in three which amounts to 31 per cent of homeless people on job seekers allowance have faced penalties, compared to just 3 per cent of typical claimants.Under this difficult rule, benefit claimants who do not meet certain conditions have their benefits reduced or stopped for a month or over.The survey of umbrella...

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    The RLA Slams The NHF Chief Executive's Call For Rental Controls

    He said this at the NHF's conference in Birmingham last week according to reports by 24 dash.Nevertheless, the RLA has claimed that costs rose by just 1.3% between May 2013 and May 2013, well below inflation.Research by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) suggested that rent controls lead to "greatly reduced quality and quantity of new homes".Alan Ward, chairman of...

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    Bristol housing charity facing closure

    Bristol Foundation housing has 149 residents in nine hostels and is responsible for 40% of all exempt accommodation claims in the city reports Inside Housing.A review carried out at the end of March found Bristol Council not believing BFH to be providing the support it claimed in some cases and consequently reduced its annual enhance housing benefit funding to BFH from £916,656 to £173,836.The...

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    Liam Byrne says Labour should remove bedroom tax

    Speaking at the National Housing Federation annual conference at the ICC on Thursday, Liam Byrne says that "we have got to have this bedroom tax dropped now".Mr Byrne also said that Labour would work well with housing associations after winning the next election, reports 24dash."In government we want to pioneer new ways of working with you (housing associations) and with local authorities" to...

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    Many families hit by bedroom tax are suffering

    Since the beginning of the bedroom tax three months ago more than half of families it affected now find themselves in debt. There are now calls from the country's housing groups for a retreat from the scheme.The National Housing Federation said that a survey showed that more than half of their 51 biggest members found their residents affected by the bedroom tax. 32,432 could not pay their rent...

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    Councils should collect data on the size of bedrooms

    Whilst the four successful appeals against bedroom tax in Scotland have set no legal precedent one tribunal ruled that it is ‘relevant to have regard to statutory space standards' when decided what is a bedroom so that others could follow suit.Standards state that one person can occupy a room of no less than 70 square feet, reports Inside Housing.The DWP have not yet defined a bedroom and have...

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    Social housing groups in Nottingham help those struggling due to bedroom tax

    Nottingham City Council, Nottingham City Homes, Nottingham Community Housing Association (NCHA) and asra Housing Group have signed up to an ‘Eviction Prevention Protocol', which will offer people affected by the bedroom tax every option to prevent evictions, reports 24dash. This includes requesting Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) for every tenant suffering finically that engages with...

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    Lib Dems Set To Hear Demand To Abolish Bedroom Tax

    Rolnik said this policy is "shocking" and a breach of human rights."Delegates at the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow will hear the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations' (SFHA) request for a repeal of the bedroom tax, today.According to 24dash, the SFHA believes that the government's controversial under-occupancy policy is "deeply flawed" and that it is causing widespread disruption...

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    Limits must be put in place to stop housing price boom

    The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said that a 5% annual rise should trigger caps on how much people can borrow relative to their incomes or property value. However it is not suggesting that the sellers should face a limit on how much they should charge for their homes.After a few years of inactivity during the financial crisis the UK housing market has begun to pick up.  Some...

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    DWP considering issuing new guidance to councils and tribunals about bedroom tax

    Inside Housing has reported that the DWP will consider whether Fife Council or the first-tier tribunal misunderstood the process of bedroom tax. Housing experts are split over the significance over these rulings.Even though the rulings haven't set a legal precedent, campaigners are arguing the rulings will provide fresh hope for tenants that believe they're being unfairly affected by the tax.As...

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    Bedroom tax victims in Scotland to receive £20 million

    The large sum of money will become available to local authorities to aid them in the increase of discretionary housing payments.The finance minister John Swinney announced that the Scottish Welfare Fund will be maintained over the next two years with £33m each year. Mr Swinney said: ‘Westminster's programme of welfare cuts is taking money out of the Scottish economy, adding to the burden on...

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    UN official says we should get rid of bedroom tax

    Raquel Rolnik, the UN special rapporteur on housing told the Guardian that Britain's record on housing was worsening from a human rights perspective as it was failing to provide sufficient quantities of affordable social housing, and by the impact of welfare reform. She came to this conclusion after travelling to Belfast, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh and London.Ms Rolnik found that after...

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    Watchdog overseeing housing associations has been criticised

    Clive Betts, the select committee chairman, has said that the Homes Communities Agency's reluctance to downgrade associations' financial viability meant "nobody would have a clue" if they were in trouble reports the BBC.Only one of England's housing associations were not downgraded by the ratings agency Moody's in May. Moody's claim that the move was prompted by a "reassessment of the likelihood"...

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    A bedroom tax appeal has been won

    Annie Harrower-Gray has had her appeal against Fife Council's decision to cut her benefits upheld by a first-tier tribunal in Scotland, reports Inside Housing.Fife Council cut Ms Harrower-Gray's benefit, claiming she is living alone in a three bedroom property; however the tribunal found that the property only had one bedroom.  When looking at the rooms in the property, which dates from 1660,...

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    A new scheme to help those hit by bedroom tax

    SLH are going to pay for tenants benefit losses, which have occurred due to bedroom tax, whilst they train for work.  Through working with a local training provider, the 3,600-home landlord is offering residents that have been affected by the under-occupancy policy a chance to take part in an intensive employability training programme to help them into work. SLH believe that whilst the scheme...

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    Council Warns That "Giving Money To Beggars Can Kill Them."

    According to a campaign runned by the Exeter Community Safety Partnership and Devon and Cornwall Police:"Money handed over to beggars is often spent on drugs or alcohol or to fund a comfortable lifestyle away from the streets."Council Leader Pete Edwards said:"Evidence that the overwhelming majority of people begging on the streets of Exeter spend their begging money on crack cocaine and heroin...

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    Flaws highlighted in shared ownership properties

    Shared ownership allows aspiring homeowners to buy a part of a new home (between 25% and 75%) then rent the remainder from a housing association, with the option to increase their ownership of the property at a later date.Giles Peaker, editor of the Nearly Legal housing law blog, wrote for the Guardian that there is no such thing as shared ownership. Instead he believes that shared ownership is...

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    Landlord Has Been Ordered To Pay His Tenants Three Times The Value Of Their Deposits

    Sheriff Mackie ordered that landlord Andrew Meehan should compensate Ross Fraser and Alison Pease £3,450 after he did not secure their £1,150 deposit.According to 24 Dash; Mr Fraser and Ms Pease said this in a joint complaint:"We are delighted with the Sheriff's decision in this case. We believe it serves as a warning to other landlords about the necessity of complying with the tenancy...

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    United Nations official begins an investigation into UK housing

    The visit starts today and will continue until mid-September with special rapporteur on housing Raquel Rolnik leading the investigation on how the UK is protecting its citizens' on their right to good housing. In her visit, MS Rolnik will visit London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast and Manchester where she will listen to individuals and campaigners testimonies as well as meet with government...

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    House prices set to rise up to 11% by 2016

    The research is showing that lenders are already anticipating a 2.7% increase in the average house price by the end of the year which will push it to £166,418 according to the Land Registry house price index. If this growth rate continues through the duration of Help to Buy then the average house price could reach £180,265 by the end of 2016; meaning an 11% rise in four years.In the research...

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    Help with rent for people hit by welfare reform

    The money has been given as part of the Discretionary Housing Payment scheme and the people of Lincolnshire who do not get the full amount of housing benefit and are having trouble making rent can apply for a share of the money to help them.The City of Lincoln Council has been allocated £215,000 and North Kesteven District council £104,000. This money has been awarded after changes such as...

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    Previous paid up tenants are now falling into arrears after bedroom tax introduction

    The data which had been supplied to Jessica Morden MP by social landlords in Newport and Monmouthshire show that 55% of tenants have fallen into arrears as they have been affected by the under-occupancy policy. The research also shows that arrears have increased by a staggering £197,445.71 across Monmouthshire Housing Association (MHA), Melin Homes, Charter Housing and Newport City Homes.This...

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    Turning bedrooms into bathrooms to avoid bedroom tax?

    Social landlord Magneta Living who are the largest registered provider of social housing the Wirral are expected to make the changes to initially 200 homes.Former Welfare minister Frank Field has welcomed the move saying that: "The bedroom tax is iniquitous and Magenta is clearly undertaking this review with tenants in mind and I think they need to be applauded."Brian Simpson, Magenta Living's...

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    Housing association to introduce a 'no homelessness' pledge

    This ‘no homelessness' pledge for bedroom tax will see Bolton at Home moving tenants to another home if said tenant finds themselves falling into arrears due to the bedroom tax; as long as they have ‘engaged' with the organisation.The landlord says that it will rehome people who are evicted into its empty properties, or into a private sector leasehold property. John Dunn, who is the assistant...

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    Increasing number of food bank users

    Church-based charity the Trussell Trust had set up over 350 food banks nationwide and works on a voucher system enabling you to three days' free food. In order to obtain a parcel applicants must be referred by a recognised agency such as the Citizens Advice Bureau or their GP who will then hand out the voucher. The trust's rules state that nobody can have more than three vouchers in a row as they...

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    UK House price inflation still rising

    According to the Office for National Statistics, the rate of house price inflation in the UK is still rising, with prices in June up to 3.1% compared to 2.9% in May. According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), prices are rising at their quickest rate since November 2006.Peter Bolton King from Rics says, "Growth in buyer numbers and prices have been happening in some parts of...

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    The effects of bedroom tax in Wales

    Research undertaken by the Freedom of Information Act by Plaid Cymru have discovered that 12 councils out of 22 surveyed saw that the number of DHP applications received in April and May this year surpassed the figures for the same period in 2012/13.Jocelyn Davies, Plaid Cymru's shadow housing minister said: ‘These figures reveal the true impact of the United Kingdom coalition government's...

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    UK House Prices Rise The Highest Annual Rate Since 2010

    There has been a 4.6 percent rise, compared with the same period last year.According to the bank's house price index, released today:"The average house price increased for the sixth successive month to £169,624 in July, up 0.9 per cent on June's figure."House prices in the most recent quarter were 2.1 per cent higher than the past three months and 4.6 per cent higher than the same three months a...

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    20 Million Pounds Bedroom Tax Fund Allocated By Wales

    He also revealed details of allocations of the fund:"The funding, which came from recalculations as a result of changes to Westminster-allocated budgets, will be used by social landlords to build one and two-bedroom properties." Inside Housing reported Mr. Sargeant's worries:‘The Welsh Government is hugely concerned that many already hard pressed households are facing hardship due the...

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    About 2/3rds Of Tenants Are Ensnared By Incapacity To Buy Home

    According to the Guardian,"The research points out the frustrations faced by millions locked out of home ownership, dubbed generation rent, as the spiralling cost of letting and a revived property market curb these aspirations."It is anticipated that, on Wednesday, Mark Carney, the Bank of England's governor will give a framework of his plans to keep interest rates low for probably many...

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    High Court to rule on bedroom tax for disabled families

    The new housing benefit regulations which were introduced on 1st April 2013 would mean reductions in benefit payments to tenants who are "under-occupying" in their accommodation.This led to families arguing that the regulations will discriminate against housing benefit claimants who are disabled or have disabled family members, as they require the addition room and it breaches their clients'...

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    Housing Redevelopment for the Princess Royal Barracks

    The site is presently a major British Army base and headquarters of the Royal Logistics Corps.Some of its buildings will be converted into apartments and the creation of a new ‘village centre'.Its end result will be the provision of 1,200 new homes.24dash.com reported that:"Deepcut was announced as surplus to military requirements by the MoD in 2008 after detailed analysis revealed that...

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    Social Tenants That Have High Earnings Are Forced To State Their Incomes

    According to the plans made by the Communities and local Government department last week:"The government will enshrine in law that the onus is on tenants who earn above the threshold to reveal their earnings to ensure they are making a fairer contribution.The CLG's response to a consultation on the ‘pay to stay' plans confirms the government wants to press ahead with the controversial scheme,...

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    Bedroom Tax Row Affects Dying Cancer Victim In Birmingham

    She could lose the only home she has ever known after refusing to pay the £23.57-a-week demanded by Birmingham City Council.Veronica was told in February that she faced paying out under the bedroom tax after her daughter moved out of their three-bedroom home in Brook Meadow Road, Shard End.She decided she would fight her case in court but admitted any hearing would have to be quick as she has...

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    Regulator Concerned By Some Associations

    Julian Ashby, the chair of the Homes and Communities Agency regulation committee, said:"The regulator cannot use its ‘statutory powers' to intervene because doing so might trigger a repricing of a housing association's debt, making any financial problems worse."Mr Ashby further said that:"Although the regulator does have financial concerns about some landlords, it is reluctant to indicate this...

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    Applying for Personal Independence Payments

    The benefits cap of £500 a week rolls out across Britain as part of the changes to the welfare system, the biggest since the 1940s.Couples and lone parents will receive no more than £500 a week, while a £350 limit applies to single people. (You can read our blog on this here.) But how do these benefit changes affect disability benefits?Personal Independence Payments (PIP) is gradually...

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    Government And The Rent Convergence Policy

    The government is on a plight to cut short its policy of rent restructuring which was made to achieve convergence of social housing rents.Therefore, social landlords will not be able to increase rents by an extra £2 anymore under the rental formula to gradually align properties with their target rent and ensure that similar social homes in similar areas charge similar rents.Graham Duncan,...

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    The Appaling Aftermath of Bedroom Tax

    "Nineteen local authorities saw a 400% rise compared to the same period last year. And by the end of May, 22% of the £10 million funds made available in Scotland for DHPs by the DWP had been allocated."New data collected by the Scottish government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) shows that all but one of Scotland's councils with housing stock have seen an increase in...

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    Council Cuts and Rented Housing Regulations

    The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) commented that:"This will have a serious impact on the ability of already hard pressed councils to enforce existing regulations for the private rented sector."The RLA has also advised that:"Fresh spending cuts to local authorities will threaten the ability of local authorities to enforce the regulations protecting tenants from bad...

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    Ministers Target More Troubled Families

    Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the treasury said:"£200 million will be committed to fund the work in 2015/16, which is intended to start a 5 year extension to the scheme."He further commented that:"Reforming how services are delivered is going to be a central part of this week's spending round. The troubled families programme is a radical example of how, by spending a bit more in certain...

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    800% increase in those needing emergency payments

     Following the welfare changes, Wales have seen an increase in the need for emergency housing payments rise by up to 800% in some areas.Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) are one off top-up payments for people who are struggling to pay their rent, and are requested by people on housing benefits in an emergency.Councils have seen a huge rise in applications, and is likely to run out of the...

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    Councils want Bedroom Tax Abolished

    Labour councillors representing Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Oxford and 30 other cities have expressed their concern at the damage they say is being caused by the reduction in housing benefit.At a summit held at Manchester Town Hall, officials expressed concerns about families being forced to leave their homes, people getting into negative debt cycles, and more people...

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    Birmingham Request Almost Triple Their Allocated Bedroom Tax DHPs

    The council has already awarded 887 DHP payments to tenants hit by the bedroom tax. This has used up £300,000 of the £716,000 the Department for Work and Pensions has suggested the council set aside from its £3.8 million DHP allocation to help tenants affected by the under-occupation penalty.The council is therefore looking for other ways to help the 8,500 council tenants affected by the...

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    Report Shows Long Term Problems with Bedroom Tax

    The report has been published by East 7, which is a group of nine prominent housing associations from the East of England, and the figures are based on findings in this area.The long term problems with the bedroom tax that research found is a large gap between the number of tenants requiring one-bedroom homes (nearly 30,000) and the number of lettings available each year (less than 4,000).This...

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    Preventing Sexually Exploited Teens from Becoming Homeless

     The need for the service was highlighted in a report on the council's reponse to the crime, and the council is working on providing suitable accommodation.Following a group of young girls becoming victims of grooming by a gang, Rochdale Council is setting up a housing service to prevent them becoming homeless.A review in to the council's response to the insident showed that there is a need for...

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    NHF Warn Limiting Non-Social Housing could be Restrictive

    The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) have published an approach that suggests social housing be carried out in a ‘discrete corporate entity' with non-social housing activity limited to between 2.5-5% of turnover.Measures to limit non-social housing activity carried out on the main balance sheet of associations risk being unduly restrictive, the National Housing Federation has warned.The NHF...

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    Bedroom Tax Tenants at Risk of Eviction

    Housing authorities have also confirmed that large numbers of tenants are unable to pay the extra rent caused by the tax.The government's bedroom tax statistics show that 600,000 people would be affected by the implementation of a tax of 14% of their housing benefit on those who have an unused bedroom, and 25% on those who have two unused rooms.These claimants were expected to lose an average of...

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    Rape Victim says Bedroom Tax is Discriminatory

    The woman, know as 'A' to keep her identity protected, issued judicial review proceedings against the secretary of state for Work and Pensions on Friday 24th May. She has a three bedroom adapted home for herself and her son; as she was a victim of rape, assault, harassment and stalking, which has a panic room installed by the police with reinforced doors, electric alarms and alarms linked to the...

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    Eligibility for Housing Benefit Puts Shelters Under Threat

     Most shelters rely on the benefit for income, but the definition of a 'home' is being changed due to a legal ruling, which could result in the withdrawal of funding.This would result in closure for many shelters across the country, as councils are having to review their policy of who is entitled to the benefit.The council's reassessment of the definition is following an upper tribunal judgement...

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    Full Impact of Housing Benefit Reforms Yet to Come

    Research released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) shows the effect that the reforms to housing benefits have had across the United Kingdom.The research has looked at the impact of changes to local housing allowance (LHA) in the private rented sector, and has shown that the impact has been "geographically limited" and has hit the capital the hardest so far.Analysis of the reduction...

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    Increased Demand for Emergency Welfare

     Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) is intended to be paid out as an emergency when someone claiming housing benefit or council tax benefit is having difficulty paying the rest of the rent themselves.Since the bedroom tax was introduced on 1st April last month, numerous councils in Britain a reporting a huge increase in the demand for the fund.The government allocated initially £60 million but...

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    Bedroom Tax 'Discriminates' Against Disabilities

    Jacqueline Carmichael is challenging regulation B13 introduced into the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006, which will see a single person or a couple with no children having their housing benefit reduced by 14% where they occupy a two-bedroom home and by 25% if they occupy a home with three or more bedrooms.Mrs Carmichael lives with her husband in a two-bedroom flat run by One Vision Housing. She...

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    Housing Needs to Work Closer with Health and Social Care

     The CIH have called for housing associations and landlords to work more closely with health and social care providers, to get the benefits from the partnership.They have suggested a localised approach to this, and have suggested that housing organisations approach local GPs and new commissioning groups to offer local services, such as supported housing, housing-related support, housing...

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    Funding from DWP for Benefit Cap is not enough

    The pilot that has started with four councils is designed to test the changes made to welfare benefits before it is rolled out nationally. Couples and lone parents will not receive more than £500 a week while a £350 limit applies to single people. This will include jobseeker's allowance, income support, child and housing benefit.Critics have said the cap failed to tackle underlying issues,...

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    Poverty caused by Housing Costs is increasing

    The JRF report shows the significant impact that housing has in increasing poverty, with an extra 3.1 million people moving in to poverty after their housing costs are paid.It shows the importance of keeping housing costs low and affordable,  but also good quality housing. Housing can make a big difference to how povery can affect people's lives and the scale of the impact it has, which reflects...

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    Charities call for people with Disabilities to be exempt from Bedroom Tax

    The bedroom tax, introduced on 1st April, has received endless criticism for the way it will affect many different groups of people.A few exemptions have already been announced, such as foster carers are permitted one spare room.Read more on bedroom tax.The chief executive officers of Carers UK, Carer Trust, Disability Rights UK, Contact and Family, Macmillan Cancer Support and Mencap have all...

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    Anger Across the UK at Bedroom Tax

     There has been constant protests in the run up to the introduction, with many asking for it to be repealled, but the coalition argue that it is needed to free up the accomodation.George Osborne has today said that most households will benefit from the changes, in particular the increase in tax allowance, and that the critics speak ill-informed rubbish. He said:For too long, we've had a system...

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    Housing benefits will increase by £143m with Bedroom Tax

     The bedroom tax, that comes in to effect from 1st April next week, is being brought in by the government because they say there are too many people with spare bedrooms that need to downsize, partly because it is too expensive, and partly because there are too many people in overcrowded homes that need the rooms that are unused.They have accepted that there are not enough houses in social...

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    Legal Action Against 'Discriminatory' Bedroom Tax

    The reasons they have given for it being a breach of human rights is that the policy is discriminatory and will infringe on family life.This is the second time this month that the government have had to go to court over the bedroom tax; the first was a case put forward by ten children who were disabled or vulnerable for other reasons such as victims of abuse who would all be negatively and...

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    Housing Minister Protects Tenants Against Bedroom Tax

    The Scottish Government has openly opposed the housing benefit cut that will come in to force in April, and have called for the UK Government’s scheme to be scrapped.Dundee Council has made a committment not to evict any tenant due to increased payments from bedroom tax, if they are assessed as genuinely doing all that can be reasonably expected to in order to avoid falling intoarrears.Ms...

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    New Exemptions to Bedroom Tax!

    Exemptions from the "Bedroom Tax" apply if:If you require advice on the 2nd bullet point, especially in relation to the meaning of "Exempt Accommodation" and in relation to social housing tenants who live in (so-called) "general needs" housing please email michael@supportsolutions.co.uk.  ...

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    MPs Debate Unfairness of Bedroom Tax on Disabled People

    Miliband shows figures that, in spite of some groups being exempt from bedroom tax, such as disabled people needing 24 hour care, there are still many disabled people that will be negatively affected.Referring to the £25 million hardship fund set up for disabled people who would be affected by bedroom tax, he said this will not cover the £306 million that will be taken from them, and as the...

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    Bedroom Tax Criticised by MPs

    The bedroom tax, due to come in to effect as of April, has received even heavier criticism in the last few months, particularly from campaigners supporting homeless people, single parents, carers, disabled people, those who have suffered abuse, both children and adults.There are many individual cases coming through and the local news is filled with how many people in each area will be affect,...

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    DWP quash rumours that Bedroom Tax will change

    The bedroom tax is going to be introduced as a way to remove an average of £14 from those who receive housing benefits, but have a spare room in their house.There have been many complaints that there are few exemptions to this tax, and one group of people that will suffer is disabled people; charities have expressed concern that disabled people who are unable to share a bedroom with their...

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    Home swapping to avoid being hit by benefit cuts

     The Communities and Local Government (CLG) department is considering part-funding the scheme, and it has secured support in principle from around 15 social landlords following a meeting in London on Tuesday.It is hoped the scheme, which will build on a number of existing projects, will lead to 150 moves a year initially and 1,000 a year in later years, and landlords in high-demand areas will...

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    67,000 pensioners will get housing benefit cuts

    Even though the government has insisted that the cut to benefits will only affect those of working age, research carried out by the Chartered Institute of Housing shows these households will be affected. The bedroom tax will not affect them at it's introduction in April, but when they are moved on to Universal Credit when it is introduced following October, their benefit will be cut.This is...

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    Welfare Reforms could cost £10m a year

    WDH's chief executive, Kevin Dodd, estimates that the combined effect of the Government's welfare changes could wipe £300 million from his organisation's business plan. Part of the Government's forthcoming Universal Credit system will see rents paid to tenants rather than directly to landlords.Mr Dodd says that the arrears have risen from 2% before the project started to 11%, which is a total...

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    Bedroom Tax may lead to a rise in Homelessness

    From 1st April, if you live in social housing and have a spare room you could be affected, and may only receive housing benefit for one bedroom.This is an attempt from Mr Cameron to reduce the £23 billion pounds spent per year on housing benefits, as people on benefits are getting privileges that private renters cannot afford.Children under 16 of same sex will be expected to share, and children...

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    Govt denies further council tax benefit cuts

    According to the Local Government Chronicle, last week ministers from the Department of Communities and Local Government announced that the budget for Council Tax Benefit will be reduced by a further 8.5% in 2014-15, but the department has described this as 'totally untrue' and 'without foundation'.Currently 5.9 million people receive council tax benefit, but as of April 2013 this will no longer...

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    Under 25s Benefit Cut Not Ruled Out

    David Cameron first mentioned a blanket cut of housing benefit for under 25s this idea earlier this year, and it was then confirmed as an option for welfare reforms by Chancellor George Osborne at the Conservative Party conference in October.These have since been mentioned in passing by other Conservative politicians with exemption critia, and over all have received many objections.When under 25s...

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    230,000 households will be paying first council tax bill

    They may only have to pay a relatively small amount, but financial advice groups say it will add to the pressure already on their services.The Welsh Government claims the regulations are designed to avoid a postcode lottery on the amount of benefits households receive, and will allow councils to continue to provide the means tested benefit in the next financial year, starting April 2013.The...

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    Disabled could be kicked out for having adapted rooms

    Under the Government's size criteria rules for the social sector, working age social tenants face having their housing benefit cut for having spare bedrooms, and it appears that this will be the same for disabled tennants who have extra rooms to suit their disability.Based on current plans, around 660,000 social tenants face losing an average of £14 a week from next April as a result of the new...

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    Mental Health Problems can develop in poor housing

    The report released yesterday arose from concerns about people living in bedsits being marginalised in an area of Essex.Researchers interviewed 19 bedsit residents and a number of landlords for Understanding the relationship between mental health and bedsits in a seaside town.They found that many bedsit residents moved into their current accommodation after relationship breakdown, bereavement,...

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    NHF asks Osborne to reject further welfare cuts

    Housing associations have urged the chancellor not to announce further welfare cuts in his statement next month on future plans for reforms.

    In a submission issued ahead of the 5 December announcement, umbrella body the National Housing Federation calls on George Osborne to reject further welfare cuts and ensure a...

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    Going Home is not an option

    Most of the 385,000 people who are under 25 and claiming housing benefits are working, looking for work, sick or disabled, and more than half of them are parents who are raising children.The prime minister's answer to save the money from this housing benefit claim is for them to move back in with their parents, with the only exemption being those who have suffered domestic violence; but Crisis...

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    Housing association in Pilot scheme takes 5 tenants to court

    GreenSquare has around 400 tenants involved in the project while the city council has around 1,600 and have had to take five of them to court as they were not paying.This was, however, fewer problems than they had anticipated.Ann Cornelius, executive director of GreenSquare, has found that 50% of the tenants were adapting fine to direct payments but the other half were struggling.She said:Fewer...

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    Care and Support worker cuts in housing sector

    It is also looking at whether to reduce the salaries of the 887 staff members working in the department by up to 40 per cent.The changes are part of a 90-day consultation with the association's care and support staff about their terms and conditions, job titles and profiles, and management and administrative structures. The consultation period is half way through.  Aniekan Umoren, Metropolitan's...

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    Working Families on Housing Benefits Doubles

    According to the report, this is due to years of not enough homes being built, resulting in rising rental and house prices. This means families are struggling to pay for their homes, and leads to an unsustainable housing market.There are now 417,830 more working people who receive housing benefits, rising to 903,440 in May 2012 from 485,610 in 2009, and is rising at a rate of 10,000 more working...

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    DWP confirms benefit limit only for future claimants

    Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg last week said the Liberal Democrats would oppose a ‘blanket ban' but left the door open for the party to support some under-25s losing their right to housing benefit.The DWP initially refused to comment, saying it was a Conservative Party proposal rather than government policy.However it has now confirmed it is looking at changing the criteria around housing...

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    Will single parents be forced back into their parents homes?

    The proposed plan to remove housing benefits from under 25s is expected to save over £1.88bn for the government a year as part of their agenda to cut £10bn from the welfare bill by 2016 announced by George Osborne earlier this week.David Cameron has confirmed he will be looking in to these changes, and the Liberal Democrats are expected to oppose it.Simon Hughes, deputy leader of the Lib Dems,...

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    Harriet Baldwin outlines exemptions to under-25s benefit cut

    In his speech at the Party's annual conference yesterday, Mr Osborne said:How can we justify giving flats to young people who have never worked, when working people twice their age are still living with their parents because they can't afford their first home?How can we justify a system where people in work have to consider the full financial costs of having another child, whilst those who...

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    Value of Social Housing Still Falling

    The underlying value of starts in the sector for the three months to the end of September was 5 per cent down on the same period last year. However, the figure represents a slight recovery from earlier this year when figures showed values in the three months to July were 22 per cent down.Overall figures for residential starts were more encouraging, with values 15 per cent up compared to last...

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    Liberal Democrats propose building 250,000 council homes

    Addressing delegates yesterday, he set out a vision for 250,000 new council houses to be built by 2015.He said:      "Every week when I go out knocking on doors I can guarantee that before the evening is out I will meet a teacher, a nurse, a young copper, who will tell me they have no hope of finding a decent affordable home.      All they want is somewhere they can afford, somewhere...

Exempt Accommodation, Welfare Reform and Vulnerable Tenants Everything was extremely useful. I like to hear about the updated case law and how things are changing. Also like to hear other delegates examples and the responses to their difficulties. Support solutions are excellent. K.B- Jephson Housing Association

 

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