Localism Bill published

The Localism Bill was published yesterday.  I suppose it might be seen as an exciting time for the housing sector – somebody described it as a potential “paradigm shift” at an event I was at last week – but, whether or not that is correct (and it could yet turn out to be), it has […]

Social housing reform “consultation”

The heavily trailed (eg here and here), “cataclysmic” consultation paper on social housing reforms has been published by CLG today.  There is much to digest and much will be left to individual PRPs and local authorities to work out.  The “consultation” is limited either to specific groups or to more specific issues without challenging the […]

Allocations: Overwriting the effective date

One of the key things that choice-based lettings is designed to achieve is openness and transparency in housing allocation (or lettings, if you prefer).  It does so mostly by using a relatively crude mechanism of determining priorities in and between bands/groups/classes: waiting time.  In the early schemes, waiting time could be nobbled by adding periods […]

Allocations: A whiff of reform

And now for a housing-related post … Anybody reading the Sunday Times will have seen Grant Schapps talking about an allocations Consultation Paper that CLG are preparing.  Apparently, this will propose giving local authorities the power to set up their own allocations policies with their own priorities, allowing local people priority over those nasty foreigners […]

Con-Dem housing reform plans

Cameron and Shapps have trailed a consultation paper to be published as early as tomorrow with a “plan to end lifetime council tenancies” (Inside Housing and The Guardian) and a “home swap scheme to help tenants move” (Today Programme and Inside Housing) (hat-tip to Katie Brown (HLPA junior group), J, and Francis Davey – e-mail’s […]

Housing Benefit limits

You’ve probably already seen this, but new upper limits on housing benefit rates are to be introduced from next April (2011). For a three bed house, the upper limit will be £340 per week For a four bed house, the upper limit will be £400 per week LHA will be limited to between £250 and […]

Newham in the news

The London Borough of Newham is, without doubt, a hard-pressed council with extremely high levels of housing need, insufficient accommodation of any sort of decent quality to meet that need, and an engaged staff, as anybody who read Ahmad would tell you.  In spite of that, they do some excellent, top notch work.  For example,  […]

Events, dear boy, events…

A couple of bits of news. First, John Healey, the shy and self-effacing Housing Minister, announced his intention to make unlawful sub-letting a criminal offence. That said, the DCLG press release rather jumps the gun by describing the sub-lettings as fraudulent. In the smaller print, the ‘shop a sub-let and win £500‘ campaign and the […]

Rent arrears management – boring title, excellent report

Is it too much to hope that – finally – the Government might take steps to ameliorate and / or prevent the use of Ground 8? During the passage of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008, the Government gave a commitment to look again at the use of inter alia, Ground 8 in the social […]

Perhaps you should get a move on?

R (Joseph) v LB Newham [2009] EWHC 2983 (Admin) We noted the permission decision in this case back in September 2009 when I expressed the view that, if Newham lost this case then some fish-based humiliation was due to them. Well, the claim for judicial review has now been allowed and I stand by my […]