Housing | LocalGov

Report lays bare ‘dire state’ of Britain’s homes


A third of households in the UK live in poorly insulated homes and cannot afford an acceptable standard of living.

Birmingham failed residents over damp and mould, ombudsman finds


The Housing Ombudsman has found six cases of severe maladministration in Birmingham City Council’s handling of issues reported by tenants.

Planning inspectors acted unlawfully over council’s net zero plans


Planning inspectors were wrong to describe West Oxfordshire District Council’s net zero plans for a garden village as ‘too rigorous’, a High Court judge has ruled.

EXCLUSIVE: Councils offered second chance to claim housing cash


Civil servants have issued a last-minute invitation for councils to claim cash from a fund that has suffered from poor take up by local authorities.

New analysis says housing building target needs to rise


England could need over 500,000 news homes every year according to analysis just released.

Rowley: Councils must do more to improve high-rise safety


Housing minister Lee Rowley has called on councils to do more to tackle building owners who fail to fix high-rise buildings in the wake of Grenfell tragedy.

Oxford leader slams Gove’s short-term lets plan


Oxford City Council has criticised the Government’s proposals to limit short-term lets arguing that they ‘fall a long way short of what's needed’.

Sto rainscreen cladding system streamlines construction at Blar Mor


A Sto rainscreen cladding system has provided an alternative construction method for a new housing development, generating time and cost efficiencies.

Council appeared to be in ‘crisis management mode’


‘Multiple and repeated’ failures by Hammersmith and Fulham Council left residents feeling ‘anything but secure in their homes’, a special investigation has found.

Gove: Short-term lets to require planning permission


Second-home owners will have to seek planning permission for future short-term lets, the Government has announced.

Council chiefs call for review of Ukrainian refugee scheme


Council leaders have called for an urgent review of funding for Ukrainian refugees as 9,000 have reported as homeless and more need longer-term support.

Barton House residents demand safety reassurances


Residents of Barton House in Bristol have marched to City Hall demanding reassurances about the safety of the building ahead of their return.

Ealing agrees £150m package to buy up housing


Councillors in Ealing have approved a £150m plan to acquire housing in the face of soaring temporary accommodation costs.

‘Brownfield first’ reforms unveiled


Councils in England will be told to prioritise brownfield development and be ‘less bureaucratic’ in their approach to building on previously developed land.

Suffolk council leaders warn of ‘catastrophic’ HRS proposals


Suffolk council leaders have warned of ‘a catastrophic effect’ on vulnerable residents should Suffolk CC agree proposed Housing Related Support changes.

Right to Buy must reform, council bosses warn


The Right to Buy scheme is causing the significant loss of social housing and cannot continue in its current form, the Local Government Association has said today.

Croydon to wind down Brick by Brick


Croydon LBC’s mayor is set to give the go-ahead to officially wind down the council’s development firm Brick by Brick.

Further planning reforms on way, says Gove


Empty shops could be quickly converted into homes and developers given fresh incentives to build on brownfield sites under ministers’ latest plans to expedite housebuilding.

Cardo Group provides insight into how valuable Frameworx is as a procurement solution


Frameworx impresses with its intuitive, easy-to-use procurement approaches which are seeing high value contracts being mobilised in the social housing sector.

£3bn boost to affordable homes fund


An additional £3bn is now available to build and improve affordable housing in England.

Norfolk council to double council tax on second homes


Second-home owners in north Norfolk will see their council tax double from next year.

New complaint handling codes launched


New closely aligned codes aimed at making good complaint handling easier for local authorities have been launched.

The Temporary Housing Dilemma: a strategic approach


Darya Kolas, Partner & Head of Social Housing at Copping Joyce, discusses the temporary housing dilemma facing local authorities.

Council leaders call for housing subsidy uplift


District council leaders have called on the Chancellor to increase the amount local authorities can claim for temporary accommodation.

Officer warning over street votes


Council officers have issued a scathing response to plans for street-level planning votes – dismissing the idea as a costly ‘proliferation of polls’.

Social housing reform: a recipe for more homelessness and litigation?


Helen Tucker, litigation partner in the social housing team at Anthony Collins, warns the Government's social housing reforms could lead to more litigation.

Scotland’s homelessness system 'at risk of failure'


Scotland’s homelessness system is on the brink of collapse, according to the country’s housing watchdog.

Council order to pay over £18k after severe maladministration findings


Waltham Forest Council has been ordered to pay £18,800 in compensation after failings were discovered in three different housing cases.

Rough sleeping in London reaches record high


More people were sleeping rough in the capital at the end of 2023 than at any period in the past decade.

Health boost for Housing First residents, research finds


Housing First – under which homeless people are guaranteed a home while they access support – reduces demand on health and social care services, study finds.

Local approach needed to prepare for ‘silent killer’ of heatwaves


MPs have called for a locally led approach to retrofitting houses to protect the most vulnerable from heat waves.

‘Three strikes and you’re out’ social housing plans announced


Social landlords could soon be empowered to evict anti-social tenants and ban them from applying for council housing under the Government’s new plans.

Call for council tax overhaul


Work should begin now on the ‘long-overdue’ revaluation of all domestic properties in England to bolster local government finance, a think-tank has argued.

Devon and Torbay devolution deal announced


Devon County Council and Torbay Council are set to enter a level 2 devolution deal with the Government.

Two in five adults fear mounting housing pressures


Two in five people who pay housing costs in England are worried that pressures will get worse this year, new research has found.

Social housing at low risk from 'rogue' equity investors


The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) has assured MPs the sector is at lower risk of ‘rogue’ equity investors that previously entered care markets.

Ombudsman calls for Royal Commission for social housing


The Housing Ombudsman has called for the establishment of a Royal Commission to deliver a long-term plan for social housing that tackles social injustices.

Underfunding of planning teams barrier to growth


Nine out of 10 SME home builders have warned that underfunded local authority planning departments are hindering the construction of new housing.

Housing crisis forcing poorer older renters to move


Older renters living on low incomes are being forced to move to more deprived areas with fewer services due to the housing crisis, new research suggests.

Council ‘diligent’ in checking for mould before tenant’s death


Mansfield District Council insists it was ‘diligent in carrying out appropriate works’ on Jane Bennett’s house before she died of lung disease last month.

Fresh call for minimum standards to protect private renters


MPs have urged the Government to protect tenants from the ‘catastrophic’ impact of poor-quality homes on their health.

Local plan review process ‘ineffective’


Reform is urgently required to improve the local plan review process and increase the number of up-to-date plans, according to new research.

5,000 winter deaths caused by cold, damp homes


Cold, damp homes caused an estimated 4,950 excess winter deaths in 2022-23, according to the End Fuel Poverty Coalition.

Exempting asylum housing from Awaab's Law branded 'unacceptable'


Charities have described as ‘unacceptable’ plans to exempt asylum accommodation from ‘Awaab’s Law’ forcing social landlords to deal with poor-quality housing.

Council sells former HQ site for £6m


Adur District Council has sold the site of its former civic centre for £6m to affordable housing provider The Hyde Group.

£17m to help rough sleepers for councils ‘most in need’


The Government has provided £17m to help homeless people off the streets as it insisted it would deliver its pledge to end rough sleeping this year.

Maladministration findings ‘springboard’ to better services, Croydon told


Croydon Council has been told by the Housing Ombudsman to use learning as a ‘springboard to deliver better services’ after severe maladministration findings.

2024: an epochal year of change and transition


Jonathan Werran, chief executive, Localis looks at what is coming down the tracks for local government in the year ahead.

Council improvements not ‘felt by residents’


Lambeth Council’s complaints handling process has improved but the results have not been ‘seen and felt by its residents’, according to the Housing Ombudsman.

Leveraging tech to tackle black mould


Deborah Matthews, MRI Software, looks at how arming onsite teams with the right tech can empower social housing providers to be proactive on black mould.

Gove consults on plan for quicker housing repairs


Social landlords would be required to fix hazards including damp and mould within ‘strict time limits’ under proposals set out by housing secretary Michael Gove today.

Housing provider downgraded by regulator


The social housing regulator has downgraded a major provider across London and the southeast following a review.

Notts residents warned of record Storm Henk floods


Nottinghamshire County Council has declared a major incident as Storm Henk causes near-record levels of flooding.

Two thirds of Housing Infrastructure Fund left unspent


Two-thirds of the £4.2bn Housing Infrastructure Fund remains unspent more than six years after its launch, despite the housing shortage, according to reports.

Rural homelessness up 40%


Levels of homelessness in rural areas have increased by 40% over the last five years, research by a countryside charity has revealed.

Groundbreaking LGBTQ+ housing proposed for Manchester


A pioneering LGBTQ+ extra care housing development has been proposed for the site of a former hospital in Manchester.

Council declares ‘major incident’ after tornado


Tameside Council has declared a ‘major incident’ after a tornado struck Stalybridge in Greater Manchester last week.

Half of teachers work with homeless children


The ‘nightmare of child homelessness’ is damaging children’s education as they suffer exhaustion, hunger and poor mental health, Shelter has warned.

Thinking ahead: housing delivery in 2024


With 2024 almost certain to be an election year, Colin Brown, head of Planning & Development, Carter Jonas discusses what policies for housing delivery we are likely to see discussed.

Rowley rules out pre-election nutrient neutrality law change


The Government has confirmed it will not be introducing primary legislation on nutrient neutrality in the current Parliament.

Review of 2023: a year in planning


Karen Charles, executive director, Boyer (part of Leaders Romans Group), takes a look back at developments in planning policy over the last year.

Councils told to revise local plan timetables


The housing secretary has instructed seven local authorities to revise their timetables for delivering their local plans.

Gove intervenes over Khan’s housebuilding plans


Housing secretary Michael Gove has said he is taking urgent action because London is ‘failing’ to provide affordable homes.

Gove threatens to strip councils of planning powers


Michael Gove has threatened to strip local authorities of their responsibilities for planning if they ‘drag their feet’ when coming up with housing plans.

Barge death concerns


Concerns over conditions inside some asylum accommodation intensified last week, after the death of an asylum seeker onboard the Bibby Stockholm barge.

£6bn allocated for energy efficiency schemes


The Government has revealed how it plans to spend £6bn improving the UK’s energy efficiency.

Rental reforms at risk from cash-strapped councils


Local authorities will struggle to enforce the Government’s rental reforms without a ‘significant boost to their resources,' MPs warn.

Special investigation launched into Camden and Hackney


A special investigation has been launched into Camden and Hackney councils after the Housing Ombudsman found they were struggling to tackle damp and mould.

£80m to regenerate brownfield sites now available


Up to £80m is now available for local authorities across England to deliver thousands of new homes on brownfield sites.

Gove criticises ‘unacceptable’ maladministration findings


Housing secretary Michael Gove has told three councils he will take a ‘personal interest’ in how they improve following findings of severe maladministration by the Housing Ombudsman.

Councillors recommend 300% empty properties’ council tax


Owners of long-term empty properties in Lewes are set to be hit by council tax premiums of up to 300% from April 2024.

Think tank calls for housebuilding on ‘grey belt’


London should address its ongoing housing crisis by building on low-quality parts of the green belt, a think tank focused on the capital has argued.

Boroughs have ‘nothing to offer’ as refugee homelessness rises


New research has found that an increasing number of refugees are rough sleeping in London after leaving Home Office accommodation.

LGA poised to shift position on Right to Buy


Smith Square is poised to amend its position on Right to Buy, The MJ has learned.

Repairs failure caused family ‘significant distress’


The Housing Ombudsman has found severe maladministration in Hackney Council’s three-year failure to properly fix a leaking roof.

Bath doubles council tax on second homes


Council tax on second homes in Bath is set to double as the local authority seeks to tackle the local housing shortage.

Londoners struggling to take action on climate change


Londoners motivated to prevent climate change but are struggling to reduce emissions due to cost-of-living crisis, survey reveals as leaders meet for COP28.

Liverpool launches taskforce to tackle criminal landlords


Liverpool City Council has launched a taskforce to go after rogue landlords involved in criminality.

Council told to stick with ‘unsuitable’ local plan


The Government has told Erewash Borough Council to stick with its emerging local plan, which has been branded ‘out-of-date and unsuitable’ by the authority.

Council fined £13k after maladministration findings


Lambeth Council has been ordered to pay £13,000 in compensation after six severe maladministration findings.

Home Office admits 'more we can and need to do'


More needs to be done to share data and improve communications with councils, Home Office mandarins have admitted.

Thousands of refugees face homelessness at Christmas, LGA warns


The Government’s push to clear the asylum backlog is putting ‘tens of thousands’ of refugees at risk of homelessness over Christmas, the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned.

Councils welcome PWLB rate extension


Councils have welcomed Jeremy Hunt’s decision to extend preferential Public Works Loan Board borrowing rates for Housing Revenue Account (HRA) expenditure.

Less than 100 homes for refugees are occupied


Fewer than 100 homes acquired using a fund to support English councils obtain housing for those fleeing conflicts have been occupied, latest figures reveal.

DLUHC defends homelessness monitoring


Mandarins have denied they do not have a clear picture of homelessness levels among Ukrainian refugees.

Autumn Statement: Councils remain ‘chronically underfunded’


Support for private renters, devolution, and planning departments is welcome but councils remain ‘chronically underfunded’, council chiefs tell Chancellor.

Autumn Statement: Level 4 devolution unveiled


More powers will be offered to areas with a level 3 devolution deal, the Government has announced as part of the Autumn Statement.

Autumn Statement: Housing benefits unfrozen


Housing benefits for private renters are set to increase as Jeremy Hunt confirms the uprating of Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates in autumn statement.

New scheme to help London councils buy homes


London mayor Sadiq Khan has announced a programme that will fund councils to purchase homes from the private market.

Council let ‘uninhabitable’ flat to family


Manchester City Council let a property with damp rooms and a rotten floor to a family with young children, the Housing Ombudsman has found.

Watchdog proposes planning reforms


The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has drawn up proposed reforms to the planning system.

West Yorkshire mayor unveils plan for 40,000 homes


West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin has unveiled plans to boost the number of houses in the region and to improve the quality of the area’s housing stock.

Homeless children left without care


Almost 6,500 16- and 17-year-olds presented as homeless to their local authority in England last year, according to new data.

Council failure left ambulance unable to reach resident


Stevenage Borough Council’s failure to fix a disabled resident’s door entry system left the ambulance service unable to attend to him, a watchdog has found.

Liverpool’s homelessness bill leaps from £250,000 to £19m


The leader of Liverpool City Council has called for urgent help as the local authority’s homelessness accommodation bill jumps from £250,000 to £19m.

Only 5% of public feels ready for climate change


Most of the public feels unprepared for the effects of climate change following the extreme heat, flooding and storms of recent years, LGA poll reveals.

Tower block evacuated over structural concerns


Tenants were evacuated from a tower block in Bristol yesterday after a survey found there is a risk to the building’s structure.

Housing minister among casualties of Sunak reshuffle


The UK will have its 16th housing minister in 12 years after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s sweeping reshuffle affected the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Councils sign cross border partnership


Two English councils, Herefordshire and Shropshire, and two Welsh county councils, Monmouthshire and Powys, have signed a partnership agreement.

Call for 'urgent action on deepening housing crisis'


The council that increased new homes supply the most last year has urged the Government to take ‘urgent action’ on the ‘deepening housing crisis’.

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