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AWICS Blog

18th September 2017

Monday September 18, 19:29

In this week’s blog, I refer to: Homelessness, the National Audit Office, Government Housing Budgets, the Chartered Institute of Housing, Right to Buy receipts, Rents, Housing in Scotland, Cumbria County Council, Vale of Glamorgan Council, Rory Stewart MP, the ‘Cumberland &…

18th September 2017

Blog 11th September 2017

Sep 11th, 12:18

In this week’s blog, I write about Economic Statistics, the CIPFA conference, the Local Government Association and European Union funding, Grenfell Tower, Business Planning, Supported Housing, the Scottish Planning Bill, Social Rents in Wales, Housing in the Isle of Man, Welfare…

Blog 11th September 2017

Blog 30th August 2017

Aug 30th, 10:58

In this week’s blog, I write about Grenfell Tower, Major Repairs budgets and Local Authority Housing Finance. Last month it was claimed that the ‘Grenfell refurbishment budget was limited by the borrowing cap’. Kensington & Chelsea Borough Council’s borrowing…

Blog 30th August 2017

Blog 15th August 2017

Aug 15th, 11:17

In this week’s blog, I write about Housing Business Planning in an Uncertain Environment, the funding of Children’s Services, the Scottish Planning Bill, the Grenfell Tower refurbishment budget and Local Authority Housing Finance. Last week we published my briefing paper on…

Blog 15th August 2017

Blog 7th August 2017

Aug 7th, 10:40

In this week’s blog, I write about the AWICS Housing News, Housing in St. Petersburg in the Russian Federation, Service Charges in London and Health and Social Care integration in Scotland. The August 2017 edition of the AWICS Housing News was published last week. It features…

Blog 7th August 2017

Blog 3rd August 2017

Aug 3rd, 09:36

In this week’s blog, I write about Housing Business Planning in an Uncertain Environment, Building New Affordable Housing, the state of the United Kingdom economy and the potential effect of Brexit on Children’s services. We are holding seminars on ‘Housing Business…

Blog 3rd August 2017

Blog 11th July 2017

Jul 11th, 15:10

In this week’s blog, I write about National Health Service Finances, the AWICS Scotland News, Cumbria County Council’s finances and the localisation of business rates, the state of the United Kingdom economy and Service Charges in Wales. The National Health Service is one of…

Blog 11th July 2017

Blog 4th July 2017

Jul 4th, 09:44

In this week’s blog, I write about the latest edition of the AWICS Wales News, the public sector pay cap, recruitment and retention in public services including the National Health Service, public finances and the Juxon Street and Sail Street development at Lambeth Borough…

Blog 4th July 2017

Blog 28th June 2017

Jun 28th, 10:33

In this week’s blog, I write about the Queen’s Speech, the ‘deal’ between the Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist Party, the ‘Barnett formula’, Grenfell Tower and Service Charges in Wales. Last week saw the delivery of the Queen’s speech.…

Blog 28th June 2017

Blog 19th June 2017

Jun 19th, 13:49

With a minority government now in place that will inevitably focus its attention on Brexit and the Parliamentary arithmetic, it will be important to ensure that measures that are required to sustain public services are not forgotten about. One of these is Adult Social Care where there is a…

Blog 19th June 2017

Blog 12th June 2017

Jun 12th, 09:50

The Conservatives have emerged from last week’s General Election as the largest party, but without an overall majority. At the time of writing it is expected that they will form a minority government with support from the Democratic Unionist Party. Obviously, there is speculation…

Blog 12th June 2017

Blog 5th June 2017

Jun 5th, 12:13

Last November, London Mayor Sadiq Khan secured £3.15billion in government funds to help start building at least 90,000 affordable homes by 2021. The Mayor and Government have agreed at least 58,500 of this total will be a combination of London Living Rent and shared ownership.…

Blog 5th June 2017

Blog 30th May 2017

May 30th, 10:02

A recent survey by ‘Inside Housing’ has confirmed what many in the sector already suspected: Since ‘right to buy’ was ‘re-invigorated’ in 2012, 51,352 council houses have been sold with only 10,644 new homes being started – a replacement rate of…

Blog 30th May 2017

Blog 24th May 2017

May 24th, 13:32

It is now just over two weeks to polling day in the 2017 General Election, and I have published a briefing paper on the housing policies of the main parties. All the main parties have identified housing as an important election issue and have made commitments to increase house-building…

Blog 24th May 2017

Blog 9th May 2017

May 9th, 11:21

The recent joint report by the Communities and Local Government and Department for Work and Pensions Committees on the future of supported housing has concluded that the government’s plans to use Local Housing Allowance rates to cap housing benefit in supported housing are an…

Blog 9th May 2017

Blog 2nd May 2017

May 2nd, 10:38

Three interesting reports have been published recently by Parliamentary Committees. The Public Accounts Committee published ‘Housing: State of the Nation’ last Friday. This report considers the failure of all governments since the 1970s to build sufficient new homes, how…

Blog 2nd May 2017

Blog 24th April 2017

Apr 24th, 09:56

Philip Hammond’s comment that the Conservatives may increase taxes if re-elected and speculation that they may abandon the ‘triple-lock’ on pensions should come as no surprise. In view of the level of public debt, the size of the government’s deficit, projected low…

Blog 24th April 2017

Blog 19th April 2017

Apr 19th, 13:51

Since last week we have published two new briefing papers. One is on the global accounts of housing associations and the other is on the government’s new Flexible Homelessness Support Grant. The 2016 Global Accounts of Registered Providers provides a financial overview of the social…

Blog 19th April 2017

Blog 10th April 2017

Apr 10th, 10:38

Last week the de-regulation provisions of the Housing and Planning Act came into force. This is significant for housing associations in England as it reduces the powers of the Homes & Communities Agency and paves the way for housing associations to be removed from the public-sector…

Blog 10th April 2017

Blog 3rd April 2017

Apr 3rd, 11:09

The Department for Work & Pensions published its guidance for the removal of entitlement to housing benefit for people aged under-21 last Friday and this guidance is now in force. It means that under-21s on Universal Credit will no longer be eligible for housing support. The policy has…

Blog 3rd April 2017

Blog 27th March 2017

Mar 27th, 11:02

The recent budget included an additional £2billion for adult social care in England but it is becoming apparent that this is not only insufficient and temporary but will also come with ‘strings attached’. This is because the government will require the money to be spent on…

Blog 27th March 2017

Blog 21st March 2017

Mar 21st, 21:00

Last week we launched three seminars: All You Want to Know about Welsh Social Housing Finance Developments in Local Authority Housing Finance in England All You Want to Know about Local Authority Finance ‘All You Want to Know about Welsh Social Housing Finance’ gives an…

Blog 21st March 2017

Blog 15th March 2017

Mar 15th, 11:42

Last week I presented: ‘All You Want to Know about Local Authority Housing Finance’ in London. This seminar was well attended and well received as usual and I am grateful to all those who attended. Delegates said that the information provided was very relevant, the quality of…

Blog 15th March 2017

7th March 2017

Mar 7th, 17:44

I am writing this blog on the train while travelling to London to present: ‘All You Want to Know about Local Authority Housing Finance’ tomorrow. This seminar is well attended as usual and I am looking forward to meeting all the delegates. For details of this seminar please…

7th March 2017

28th February 2017

Feb 28th, 10:26

Last week I presented a session of ‘All You Want to Know about Service Charges’ as an in-house session for a Housing Association in Cumbria. Delegates said that the found the information provided relevant, that the quality of presentation was good to excellent and that the…

28th February 2017

21st February 2017

Feb 21st, 10:27

The government published its long awaited White Paper on Housing on 7th February 2017. It is entitled ‘Fixing Our Broken Housing Market’. -In view of the length of time that it has taken to prepare and the advance publicity that it received many were disappointed that it…

21st February 2017

Blog 13th February 2017

Feb 13th, 10:45

This Wednesday (15th February) I will be presenting: ‘All You Want to Know about Service Charges in Social Housing’ at the Novotel Waterloo Hotel in London. As usual, this seminar has proved popular and I am looking forward to meeting the delegates. However, we do have a few…

Blog 13th February 2017

Blog 8th February 2017

Feb 8th, 11:58

We have re-designed our website and the new site will be launched this week. The new website contains all the information that is currently on the website and all the same facilities to book onto seminars and webinars and to order books. However, the site is more user-friendly and can be…

Blog 8th February 2017

Blog 30th January 2017

Jan 30th, 10:32

We have just launched our seminars on: ‘The Future Funding of Supported Housing’.   The Government is planning to change the way in which Supported Housing is funded with housing benefit and universal credit supporting only core housing costs and housing support services…

Blog 30th January 2017

Blog 23rd January 2017

Jan 23rd, 09:18

Last week I presented an in-house training session on right to buy, capital receipts and 1-4-1 replacement of sold homes at a local authority in Eastern England. The session was well received. Delegates said that the information provided was very relevant, the quality of the presentation…

Blog 23rd January 2017

Blog 16th January 2017

Jan 16th, 09:18

I am writing this blog on the train. Tomorrow I will be presenting an in-house training session on right to buy, capital receipts and 1-4-1 replacement of sold homes at a local authority in Eastern England. This is obviously an important subject and I am looking forward to the…

Blog 16th January 2017

Blog 10th January 2017

Jan 10th, 09:18

The Government made several housing announcements during the first week of January 2017. These included allocations under the affordable housing programme 2016 to 2021, an invitation to bid for further funding, starter homes, garden villages and towns and the Housing White Paper. We have…

Blog 10th January 2017

Blog 3rd January 2017

Jan 1st, 09:18

I hope that all my readers have had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.   Gavin Barwell MP, the Minister for Housing, has kicked off the New Year with an announcement that the government’s controversial ‘Starter Homes’ policy will go ahead after all. This is the…

Blog 3rd January 2017

December 2016

Dec 8th 2016, 09:18

22nd December 2016 This will be my final blog of 2016 so I would like to wish all my readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thank you also for taking the time to read my Blog throughout 2016 and I hope that you will continue to do so in 2017. Monday was the closing day for the…

December 2016

November 2016

Nov 8th 2016, 09:18

21st November 2016 Last week I was in Somerset where I presented an in-house session of 'All You Want to Know about Service Charges' for a group of housing associations. The session was well received. Delegates said that the information presented was relevant and the quality of…

November 2016

October 2016

Nov 7th 2016, 15:54

31st October 2016 I am in London this evening prior to presenting our seminar on ‘All You Want to Know about Local Authority Housing Finance’ tomorrow. As usual this seminar has proved popular. I am grateful to all the delegates who are attending and am looking forward to…

October 2016

September 2016

Sep 5th 2016, 09:19

26th September 2016 Following last week's announcement by the Department for Work and Pensions about the funding of supported housing (see last week's Blog below) I have written a briefing paper on the subject. It covers: The announcement of 15th September 2016; Analysis; The response of…

September 2016

August 2016

Aug 8th 2016, 09:18

30th August 2016 Today is the closing date for a consultation by Cumbria County Council on the future of the Edenside Residential Care Home in Appleby. Cumbria County Council is in a similar position to most local authorities in that it provides a number of Residential Care Homes for the…

August 2016

July 2016

Jul 8th 2016, 09:41

25th July 2016 Following the vote for Britain to leave the European Union the future of regional development and regeneration programmes has been called into question. For example, Cornwall County Council (the largest beneficiary) has been seeking clarification of its position and the…

July 2016

June 2016

Jun 8th 2016, 10:13

27th June 2016 Last week I presented a session of ‘All You Want to Know about Housing Association Finance’ to Members and officers of a County Council; and tomorrow I will be presenting a session of ‘All You Want to Know about Scottish Housing Association Finance’…

June 2016

May 2016

May 8th 2016, 10:37

31st May 2016 This week we have published the June edition of the ‘AWICS Scottish News’. It includes articles on: New Scottish Government's Programme Scottish Housing Regulator publishes assessment of housing associations Council Tax Reform Scottish Housing Regulator's…

May 2016

April 2016

Apr 8th 2016, 11:01

25th April 2016 The week before last I presented our seminar on the Housing & Planning Bill in London. The session was well received and I am grateful to all the delegates who attended. They said that the information provided was relevant, the quality of presentation was good and that…

April 2016

March 2016

Mar 8th 2016, 11:13

21st March 2016 The 2016 budget was announced last week. In the past every detail of a budget was kept a secret until the Chancellor began to speak in Parliament but today most of the contents of a budget seem to be announced a few days in advance! What struck me most about this budget…

March 2016

February 2016

Feb 8th 2016, 11:29

29th February 2016 Last week I presented the second in this year’s series of seminars of ‘All You Want to Know about Service Charges in Social Housing’ in Leeds. The previous week I presented the first session in London. Delegates said that the information provided was…

February 2016

January 2016

Jan 8th 2016, 11:49

25th January 2016 This week we have published the January 2016 edition of the ‘AWICS Housing News’. It includes articles on: Business Planning in the Housing Revenue Account Self-Financing, Depreciation and the Private Finance Initiative Service Charges and Value for…

January 2016

December 2015

Dec 8th 2015, 12:48

29th December 2015 We have just published the January 2016 edition of the AWICS Wales News. This edition includes articles on: Latest statistics show the value of housing associations to the Welsh economy. Review into finance of local government in Wales launched. Release of draft…

December 2015

November 2015

Nov 8th 2015, 13:35

30th November 2015 I am writing this blog while on the train to London where, along with my associate Chris Kelsall, I will be presenting our seminar on: ‘Local Authority New Build: The Financial Implications’. This seminar will address the following questions: What is the…

November 2015

October 2015

Oct 8th 2015, 14:30

26th October 2015 In the Housing and Planning Bill the government has put forward an interesting approach to the sale of high value council homes. The Bill proposes that the government will calculate what it considers a likely level of receipts from the sale of high value council homes for…

October 2015

September 2015

Sep 8th 2015, 15:10

28th September 2015 Last Tuesday I presented the AWICS seminar ‘Right to Buy Extension, Sale of High Value Council Homes and Social Rent Reform’ in London. This session looked in detail at the financial implications for housing associations and local authorities of the…

September 2015

August 2015

Aug 8th 2015, 15:33

26th August 2015 Last week I came across this very informative graph provided by the National Housing Federation that compares projected public expenditure in the United Kingdom with Germany and the United States. It clearly shows that the United Kingdom is heading for an approach to…

August 2015

June 2015

Jul 8th 2015, 15:41

29th June 2015 This week we are starting to put together our programme of seminars for the autumn of 2015. They will be as follows: All You Want to Know about Scottish Social Housing Finance Falkirk – 15th September. This is our regular introduction and overview of Scottish…

June 2015

May 2015

May 8th 2015, 16:06

25th May 2015 I am writing this blog on the train on the way to Liverpool for an in-house session of ‘All You Want to Know about Service Charges in Social Housing’ tomorrow. Our ‘open’ session was held in London last week. It was fully sold out and the feedback was…

May 2015

April 2015

Apr 8th 2015, 16:22

27th April 2015 Last week’s ‘Local Government Chronicle’ contained an interesting article by Rich Hornby, the Chief Finance Officer at Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group. It included the following comment about the promises being made by all political…

April 2015

March 2015

Mar 8th 2015, 16:38

30th March 2015 Last week we published the March 2015 edition of the ‘AWICS Housing News’. It contains articles on: The Elphicke-House housing review outcomes United Kingdom Budget 2015 Service Charges in Social Housing Homes & Communities Agency's new policies on…

March 2015

February 2015

Feb 9th 2015, 09:12

23rd February 2015 This week we are launching our latest seminar and workshop ‘All You Want to Know about Service Charges in Social Housing’. This seminar and workshop will be held at the Novotel Hotel at Waterloo on 20th May 2015. It is designed to give an introduction and…

February 2015

January 2015

Jan 9th 2015, 09:53

26th January 2015 Cumbria County Council’s budget consultation closed last Tuesday and, as I live and work in the County I decided to make a response. The context in which Cumbria County Council is operating is difficult and not untypical: Between 2011 and 2014 they have had to…

January 2015

December 2014

Dec 9th 2014, 10:35

29th December 2014 I hope that my readers had a Merry Christmas and will have a Happy New Year. The provisional Local Government Finance Settlement for 2015/16 was announced just before Christmas. It was not the sort of Christmas present that most people want – most…

December 2014

November 2014

Nov 9th 2014, 11:28

24th November 2014 The ‘AWICS’ seminar and workshop ‘All You Want to Know about Local Authority Housing Finance’ was held in London last week. It was attended by representatives of various local authorities from London, the South, the Midlands and the North. It was…

November 2014

October 2014

Oct 9th 2014, 12:20

27th October 2014 Risk management is gaining a higher profile in the worlds of housing and local government. Last week, I provided some training in risk management at Blackpool Coastal Housing – the Arms’ Length Management organisation that manages council housing in Blackpool.…

October 2014

September 2014

Sep 9th 2014, 12:33

29th September 2014 Last Wednesday I chaired Impact Housing Association’s September board meeting that was held at the Old Brewery Halls of Residence in Carlisle. The main items on the agenda were Value for Money, Finance and Development – all of which are subjects that are…

September 2014

August 2014

Aug 9th 2014, 13:13

25th August 2014 Last week I chaired a meeting of the Board of Impact Housing Association. It was held at the Oval Centre in Salterbeck – that is the community centre at the heart of the Salterbeck estate. More information about the Oval Centre is on the Impact Housing Association…

August 2014

July 2014

Jul 9th 2014, 13:33

28th July 2014 I came across this interesting graph over the weekend that shows the economic performance of the G7 countries since the financial crisis and recession of 2008. It shows that the British economy declined more sharply than any other apart from Japan, and that over the six…

July 2014

June 2014

Jun 9th 2014, 13:46

30th June 2014 I am in 'Inside Housing' this week. As part of the headline story 'Treasury probes £1billion unused headroom' I am quoted as saying that I know of several authorities that are simply averse to taking on extra loans despite residents' desperate demand for new housing…

June 2014

May 2014

May 9th 2014, 14:06

26th May 2014 This Wednesday we will publish the May edition of the ‘AWICS Housing News’. It will include articles on: A New Housing Policy to meet the Housing Crisis National Housing Federation publishes Research on Welfare Reform Value for Money and Performance at Impact…

May 2014

April 2014

Apr 9th 2014, 14:16

28th April 2014 Our seminar and workshop ‘All You Want to Know about Service Charges in Social Housing’ will be held at the Novotel Hotel in Lambeth on Tuesday. It has proved very popular and I am looking forward to meeting all the delegates. The aim of the day is to answer the…

April 2014

March 2014

Mar 9th 2014, 14:29

24th March 2014 This week we have launched two new seminars and workshops: All You Want to Know about Welsh Social Housing Finance will be held in Cardiff on 10th September 2014. This seminar and workshop considers social housing finance in the local authority and housing association…

March 2014

February 2014

Feb 9th 2014, 14:39

24th February 2014 This week I will be in London for our seminar and workshop: ‘All You Want to Know about Local Authority Housing Finance 2014’. We are almost fully booked. I am looking forward to meeting the delegates and hope that everyone will find it a useful day. We will…

February 2014

January 2014

Jan 10th 2014, 10:00

27th January 2014 It is interesting to see that Islington Borough Council is the latest to change its accounting policies in an effort to switch costs from the general fund to the housing revenue account. The story is included in this week’s ‘Inside Housing’ under the…

January 2014

December 2013

Dec 10th 2013, 10:02

16th December 2013 I have just put my material on Service Charges from the recent National Housing Federation Conference on my website. It includes copies of the slides from my three presentations; my briefing paper on Supported Housing, Service Charges and Universal Credit; and my notes…

December 2013

November 2013

Nov 10th 2013, 10:06

25th November 2013 On Sunday I visited the Tullie House Museum in Carlisle, principally to see the Crosby Garrett Helmet, a Roman cavalry helmet that was discovered recently at Crosby Garrett a few miles from where I live. It is described by the museum as follows: “The exceptional…

November 2013

October 2013

Oct 10th 2013, 10:15

28th October 2013 This week, I will be presenting a one day training course for the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation in Grangemouth, Scotland on ‘Scottish Social Housing Finance’. Details are available on their website at …

October 2013

September 2013

Sep 10th 2013, 10:23

23rd September 2013 I spent two days in London last week presenting our regional seminar on ‘Value for Money and Performance Management in Housing and Local Government’ and an in-house session on the same subject for Greenwich Borough Council. This is obviously an important…

September 2013

August 2013

Aug 10th 2013, 10:29

26th August 2013 The evidence is mounting that the government has not fully thought through its proposals for rent convergence. First, the Department for Communities & Local Government wrote to various housing bodies to say that rent convergence would come to an end and that when they…

August 2013

July 2013

Jul 10th 2013, 10:33

29th July 2013 The government’s announcement in the spending review that social rents will increase by the consumer prices index plus 1% each year from 2015 onwards was initially welcomed by many in social housing as it gave certainty and continued buoyancy in rental income. However,…

July 2013

May 2013

May 10th 2013, 10:43

28th May 2013 Last week I chaired the May 2013 meeting of the Board of Impact Housing Association that was held at the Oval Centre at Salterbeck in Workington. Salterbeck is Impact Housing’s largest estate and the Oval Centre is a multi-purpose Community Building that was completed…

May 2013

April 2013

Apr 10th 2013, 10:50

29th April 2013 There is increasing concern among tenants and housing managers in local authorities about how councils are spending rent money. According to the 1989 Local Government & Housing Act rents are ring-fenced and can only be spent on providing council housing and housing…

April 2013

March 2013

Mar 10th 2013, 10:56

31st March 2013 Impact Housing Association’s Board met in Carlisle last Wednesday. Our agenda included reports on finance, welfare reform, our offer to our tenants and the Board’s own Performance Management. While I have been Chair we have systematically reviewed every aspect…

March 2013

Adrian Waite, Managing Director of AWICS

For more information about Adrian please click HERE

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