21st February 2017

Feb 21st 2017, 10:27

Blog 21st February 2017

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 contained very little radical change and repeated many established policies. However, it has received a cautious welcome from the housing sector in England.

The main announcements in the White Paper include:

  • A standardised mechanism for setting housing delivery targets for councils’ Local Plans.
  • New guidelines to encourage compulsory purchase of undeveloped land.
  • An intention to publish a new rent standard for the social housing sector after 2020.
  • Dropping of the 20% threshold for Starter Homes and the target of 200,000 Starter Homes by 2020.
  • Councils must include Right to Buy in homes built through new council companies.

I have written a briefing paper that summarises the White Paper and the reactions to it from the sector; and that provides some commentary. Your copy can be freely downloaded from HERE

Last week I presented: ‘All You Want to Know about Service Charges in Social Housing’ at the Novotel Waterloo Hotel in London. I am grateful to all those who attended. Delegates said that the information provided was very relevant, the quality of the presentation was good to excellent and the training met their needs fully. They described the seminar as: Clear, Useful, Interesting, Practical and Thorough. Specific comments received included:

  • A good pace and timing of breaks was perfect. Good content, nice relaxed style of presentation.
  • It was great… we all got a chance to ask questions.
  • The course was delivered well and very thoroughly. The course content was useful and met my objective of filling gaps in knowledge regarding supported accommodation and housing benefit eligible housing costs.
  • Interesting overview of the subject with practical case studies.

Our next session will be at Leeds on 17th May 2017. For further information or to make a booking please click HERE

I will be presenting this seminar as an in-house session at a housing association in Cumbria tomorrow. If you would like information about in-house training or would like to book a session, please contact me at

I have had a letter published in this week’s ‘Cumberland News’ about how Eden District Council could do more to support the development of affordable housing, including extra care elderly housing. The Editor has given it the catchy title: ‘Time for Council to invest in Housing’. A copy can be downloaded from HERE

The Electoral Reform Society has published an interesting report on the Northern Irish Assembly election of 2016 that concludes that the Single Transferable Vote system has led to more diverse and open politics. Their report can be found on their website at

Last week, Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister, caught the headlines with his speech about Britain leaving the European Union. His speech included the following interesting section about the implications for public services including the National Health Service:

“The economic future which could work outside of Europe is… the low tax, light regulation, offshore free market hub… which to the Brexit ideologues is a promise of things to come. This free market vision would require major re-structuring of the British economy and its tax and welfare system.

“It will not mean more money for the National Health Service but less; actually it probably means a wholesale rebalancing of our health care towards one based on private as much as public provision.”

Our next seminar is: ‘All You Want to Know about Local Authority Housing Finance’ and will be held in London on 8th March 2017. For further information or to make a booking, click HERE

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