News round up                                                                                                                                                         20.06.17

Grenfell Tower:

Statement from Sec of State DCLG, Sajid Javid, on government’s response focussing on the need for cladding in use to be checked on all similar towers https://www.gov.uk/government/news/communities-secretary-statement-safety-checks-following-the-grenfell-tower-fire

Kensington & Chelsea council have been removed from relief effort at Grenfell Tower – response has been ‘not good enough’ – Red Cross are part of the efforts to support survivors http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/grenfell-tower-fire-kensington-chelsea-council-after-response-not-good-enough_uk_5946c9ace4b01eab7a2e8798

Former minister for Housing & Local Government, Mark Prisk, has said government has not spent enough time looking at fire safety http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/grenfell-tower-fire-fire-safety-block-flats-government-review-sprinklers-mark-prisk-tory-housing-a7793716.html

Dispute over whether the material used for cladding on the Grenfell Tower was legal http://time.com/4823114/london-grenfell-tower-banned-cladding/

Article on tender process for fire-risk assessment by KCTMO http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/business/asset-management/kctmo-appointed-competitively-priced-fire-risk-assessment-consultant/7020510.article?utm_source=Housing60&utm_medium=email&utm_content=article_link&utm_campaign=H60&adfesuccess=1

4 successive Ministers did not act on coroner’s recommendations following the Lakanal disaster In April this year, Mr Barwell wrote to say he did "acknowledge that producing a statement on building regulations has taken longer than I had envisaged". The fire safety group pointed out that it had been "given a similar response by three successive ministers since 2010" and it "is now time to listen to what the Fire Sector is saying".’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40330789

Theresa May has rejected calls from Labour to requisition vacant property to house survivors http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/grenfell-tower-fire-latest-theresa-may-rejects-jeremy-corbyn-call-seize-private-rental-properties-a7797476.html

Blog on the need for fundamental changes to how we view social housing https://tommurtha.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/a-catalyst-for-social-housing/

 

National

Hosting migrants: article in the Church Times detailing the work done by a number of individuals in helping to house destitute migrants – featuring our own London Hosting project https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2017/16-june/features/features/a-home-far-from-home

House price data: First drop in asking prices nationally (in the month of June) since financial crisis http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/news/house-prices-stall-as-average-price-tags-dip-1000-rightmove-35840299.html

Rightmove have produced this very easy to read House Price Index outlining some of these same trends http://www.rightmove.co.uk/news/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/Rightmove-House-Price-Index-19-June-FINAL.pdf

Planning report: Savill’s research claims that despite a good number of permissions being granted, they are in the wrong places – i.e. they are generally being granted in least affordable areas http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/uk/planning-permissions-new-homes-granted-wrong-areas-says-new/

Migrants’ rights: Interesting article from CEO of a housing association on how Home Office measures and industry practice have resulted in migrants losing their housing rights https://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2017/jun/20/migrants-wrongly-homeless-housing-associations-charter

Renters’ Union: article introducing the idea of a London Renters’ Union (with capacity to expand) https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/simon-roach/resisting-housing-crisis

their website is here http://londonrentersunion.org/

Sanctuary Housing: major provider of care homes has expanded its portfolio significantly in North East and Scotland http://www.24housing.co.uk/yournews/sanctuary-group-expands-its-care-operations/

Housing older prisoners: following a report showing that prison population aged over 60 has tripled in 15 years ‘Peter Clarke, the chief inspector of prisons in England and Wales, has told the Guardian that he believes the time has come to introduce purpose-built “older prisoner” jail’ https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jun/20/prisons-taking-role-of-care-homes-and-hospices-as-older-population-soars

 

 

Regional

Affordable rents: Interesting scheme in Croydon to guarantee rents at 65% via new council scheme http://www.24housing.co.uk/news/council-plan-for-hundreds-of-affordable-homes-at-affordable-rents/

Redcar and Cleveland: scheme for 400 properties going forward despite protests from local community http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tees-40319069

Cardiff: growing number of people staying in tents on outskirts of the city http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/homeless-people-been-spotted-camping-13185750

Wales: blog on why Wales should not adopt the Right to Rent policy that’s already been rolled out in England https://news.rla.org.uk/wales-resist-plans-turn-landlords-immigration-police/

Northern Ireland: Catholics waiting longer than Protestants by 9 months on average to access social housing http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/catholics-waiting-longer-than-protestants-for-social-housing-report-1-8015707

Oxford: Savill’s report says that the housing offer in the city is holding it back (both in terms of overall supply and infrastructure) http://pdf.euro.savills.co.uk/uk/spotlight-on/spotlight-2017-is-the-future-bright-for-oxford.pdf

Somerset: major development in Wimbourne (630 homes) – land has been acquired despite local protests http://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/local-news/bloor-homes-build-controversial-630-120289

Staffordshire: a landlord and local councillor has warned that introduction of licencing to the private rented sector will ‘result in homelessness’ as costs are passed on to tenants, not borne by landlords http://www.burtonmail.co.uk/anglesey-housing-tenants-could-be-made-homeless-over-new-licence-landlord-claims/story-30393789-detail/story.html

 

London

Landlords: Unsurprisingly London landlords have the highest costs (£6,535 a year, or 32% of rental income) – but also demand the highest rents http://www.propertywire.com/news/uk/london-highest-landlord-costs-uk-offset-higher-rent/

Charing Cross Hospital: huge swathes of the estate of the hospital to be sold off (only 13% to remain – details tbc) https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jun/16/most-of-central-london-hospital-to-be-sold-off-secret-plans-reveal