Blog 2nd May 2017

May 2nd 2017, 10:38

Blog 2nd May 2017

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 councils could be empowered to build more homes and what outcomes are achieved from expenditure on housing benefits in terms of building new affordable homes and securing the decent homes standard in the private rented sector. The committee draws some interesting conclusions and makes some interesting recommendations.

The Committee also gathered some interesting evidence including some from Lord Gary Porter (Conservative), Leader of South Holland District Council and Chair of the Local Government Association, who concluded that:

“If Governments really loved housing, somebody would get hold of the Treasury and make them understand that it is all their fault.”

I have written a briefing paper that summarises the report and provides some commentary. Your copy can be freely downloaded from HERE

A report by the Communities and Local Government Committee, ‘Capacity in the Homebuilding Industry’ concludes that Housing Revenue Account borrowing caps are limiting local authorities’ ability to build and recommends that all borrowing caps should be raised and, in areas where housing affordability is at its worst, removed completely.

And a joint report by the Communities and Local Government and Department for Work and Pensions Committees on the future of supported housing concluded that the government’s plans to use Local Housing Allowance rates to cap housing benefit in supported housing are an ‘inappropriate starting point’ for the new funding model. It recommends an alternative approach of a new supported housing allowance, banded to reflect the actual cost of different types of provision.

I have written a briefing paper on ‘Service Charges and Housing Benefit in Supported Housing’. Your copy can be freely downloaded from HERE

It will be interesting to see whether any of these recommendations are acted upon by the new government after the election in June.

We have recently updated our website with new and revised pages. They include the following that you may like to view by clicking on the following links:

One of our clients is Loreburn Housing Association in Dumfries. It is good to hear that Lorraine Usher, their Chief Executive, is the only Scottish finalist in the United Kingdom ‘Inspirational Leadership’ award sponsored by the Chartered Institute of Housing.

Our next seminar on ‘All You Want to Know about Service Charges in Social Housing’ in England will be held in Leeds on 17th May 2017. As usual this seminar is proving popular but there are still some places available. For more information or to make a booking please click HERE

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