Independence...Integrity...Value

Blog 24th May 2017

May 24th, 13:32

Blog 24th May 2017

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 including the building of social and affordable homes by housing associations and local authorities. All the main parties have identified the ‘borrowing cap’ that has been imposed on councils’ housing revenue accounts as a barrier to building council housing and all are proposing to raise or abolish the caps. However, the Conservatives plan to do this through a series of one-to-one deals with individual local authorities that would be designed to deliver specific schemes while the Labour and Liberal-Democrat parties propose a more general lifting of the ‘borrowing cap’.

The Conservatives would offer similar one-to-one deals with housing associations where rent flexibilities would be on offer. However, none of the parties propose to increase the budget for the affordable housing programme.

There are also issues around welfare reform, the funding of supported housing and the ‘right to buy’.

I am sure that everyone in the housing sector will be pleased to see that all the parties recognise the extent of the housing crisis and the need to address it. However, I am disappointed with all the manifestos in that their proposals appear generally timid and unoriginal. There are also a lot of unanswered questions. Furthermore, none of the parties is prepared to commit to allocating significant funding to the development of affordable homes.

Your copy of the briefing paper can be freely downloaded from HERE

Last week I presented our seminar ‘All You Want to Know about Service Charges in Social Housing’ at Leeds. The session was fully sold out and was well received. Delegates said that the information provided was very relevant, the quality of presentation was good to excellent and that the training met their needs fully. They described the seminar as useful, thorough, interesting, clear, comprehensive and valuable. Specific comments included:
  • Fantastic venue
  • Useful one stop overview.
  • Book will be useful for staff and new starters as a good introduction to service charges.
  • Informative & good examples
  • Very informative day.
  • Lots of information covered in a short time
  • Good pace throughout
  • Really useful & enjoyable session.

The Welsh version of the seminar will be held in Cardiff on 12th September 2017. For further information please click HERE

The English, Scottish and Welsh versions are all available as in-house courses. For further information please click HERE

This evening I will be attending the Annual General Meeting of Impact Housing Association. While I stood down as Chair in 2015, I have remained a member of the Association. This evening’s agenda includes a presentation on the development of Impact’s excellent extra-care elderly housing scheme at Bramble Court in Brampton. I am looking forward to the meeting.

bramble_court_brampton

Bramble Court, Extra-Care Elderly Scheme at Brampton, Cumbria.

Our seminar ‘Developments in Local Authority Housing Finance in England 2017’ will be held on 14th June 2017 in London and on 5th July 2017 in Leeds. It will be fully up to date and will include consideration of the implications of the outcome of the General Election for local authority housing. This seminar is proving popular but we still have a few places available. For further information or to make a booking, please click HERE

The book that accompanies the seminar can be bought separately. For further information or to order a copy, please click HERE

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