The Prime Minister announced on Tuesday 22 September a new range of restrictions to protect us from the Covid crisis, some of which will apply to charities.
The passing of the Welfare Reform and Work Bill and the coming into force of the rent reduction rules on 1st April is far more significant.
But what there was (the new towns and community-led development) continues the home ownership theme. Everyone (who wants to do it) should be gearing up to more shared ownership – we have had a marked increase in clients wanting training sessions to get the know-how in this area. The commitment to making new developments a reality is underlined by the proposed release of more public sector land. The criticism of previous sales (found here) show that housing associations have an opportunity here because, unlike developers, they have no shareholders to satisfy and can commit to developing the land (rather than land-banking it).
What could the budget have offered?
Here are some ideas: -
- Some clarity on the shape of the VRTB would help – whilst being a work in progress the $64 million dollar question is how will the scheme work given it is to be self-financing? Matching projected “high-end” Council house sales with the demand is going to be a challenge;
- Development Grant post 2018 – time is moving on and the silence is deafening;
- Homelessness – clients in the sector tell me whilst it is good news the Government acknowledges there is a problem, the amount concerned will only paper over the cracks rather than address the underlying problems.
- The ageing population – the Government has shown it is prepared to be radical in housing policy but has so far not “got real” with this issue – housing providers have much to offer the NHS and social services departments. The Government (with the LHA cuts) seem to be going in the opposite direction and compartmentalising housing provision rather than truly challenging the various players to come together. Is the devolution agenda truly enough?
For more information
Please contact Jonathan Cox
Following the end of the possession stay on 21 September, Helen Tucker & Rebecca Sembuuze from our housing litigation team discuss the most recent guidance, priority cases and what to expect in court.
Covid-19 has resulted, on the whole, in a marked co-operation between contracting authorities and their suppliers as everybody focuses on maintaining delivery as far as possible.
Employment Tribunal rules in favour of claimants in minimum wage case – has the interpretation of “working time” changed?
As we enter a recession, we have been here before, and a key question is what did we learn and how can we benefit from that learning?
It is anticipated that as lockdown restrictions ease, and particularly with children and young adults returning to education, cases of meningitis will start to rise.
As we continue to emerge from lockdown measures and deal with local measures and the short and long term economic impact of Covid-19, local authorities will need to re-assess how services will be delivered for years to come.
The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
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