HQN Housing Management Network News

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The Housing Management Network routinely looks over the biggest and most relevant news stories, reports and publications for members, covering the latest updates for everyone working in neighbourhood, tenancy and estate management.

For more expert analysis, briefings and best practice for those involved in the safety of residents and employees, be sure to join the Housing Management Network. You can find out more here.

 

Week commencing 22 April 2019

Housing deal sees Legal & General pump £45m into Croydon council

Legal & General has invested nearly £45m into Croydon council as part of an innovative approach the local authority’s housing ambitions which both sides believe to be an industry first.

The partnership deal has seen L&G buy 167 homes – mainly two and three-bedroom flats and houses located in Croydon and neighbouring boroughs – from the local authority and then lease them back to the council over a 40-year term.

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House Exchange adds over 100,000 properties to swapping service for social housing residents

The UK’s leading not-for-profit home swapping service has seen rapid growth over the last twelve months, with landlords owning more than 100,000 properties joining as partners.

House Exchange is part of Clarion Housing Group and provides a national home swapping service that allows social residents to move home via a mutual exchange with a social housing resident elsewhere in the country.

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Feeling ‘at home’ improves health, say Stirling researchers

The ability to feel ‘at home’ has a significant impact on people’s health and wellbeing, according to experts at the University of Stirling.

Academics, who studied 75 tenants living in rented properties in Glasgow over a year, found that being able to settle in to a new tenancy helped to reduce health inequalities.

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Government to drop plans to create a national tenant voice

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has decided not to pursue a national tenants’ group, it is believed.

24housing has learned the government is due to drop the idea, first pitched in the Social Housing Green Paper. Although a discussion paper, the tenant voice was widely believed to be a key pillar of government housing plans.

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‘It’s a feminist issue’: New plans to solve gender inequality in housing

The Women’s Housing Forum has released its plans to improve housing services for women after its inaugural event was held in London earlier this year.

Its plans include influencing housing providers to address women’s specific needs – like lower average incomes, additional caring responsibilities and greater experience of domestic abuse and sexual violence – in the services they offer.

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Malthouse wants planning laws to stop social housing segregation

Housing minister Kit Malthouse has asked officials to “explore strengthening” planning guidance to prevent segregation of social housing residents.

Mr Malthouse revealed the move in answer to a written question by Labour MP Steve McCabe, who asked what the government was doing to prevent segregation on shared playgrounds.

Mr McCabe referred specifically to a development in Lambeth, south London, where The Guardian reported that children in social housing were being prevented from playing in the communal playground.

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Week commencing 8 April 2019

Partnership working – Greater Manchester landlords to team up with NHS

Housing associations in Greater Manchester are set to team up with NHS organisations and care providers in the region, under draft plans by the combined authority.

The region’s housing strategy reveals that Greater Manchester Housing Providers (GMHP) will be working more closely with the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership.

This body, which is responsible for the devolved £6bn health and social care budget in the region, will be added to GMHP’s memorandum of understanding with the combined authority.

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Allocations and lettings: House Exchange adds over 100,000 properties to swapping service for social housing residents

The UK’s leading not-for-profit home swapping service has seen rapid growth over the last twelve months, with landlords owning more than 100,000 properties joining as partners.

House Exchange is part of Clarion Housing Group and provides a national home swapping service that allows social residents to move home via a mutual exchange with a social housing resident elsewhere in the country.

The house swapping service has seen sixteen partnerships signed in the last year, with new partners including Derby Homefinder Partnership, Thirteen and Mid Devon District Council. These new partnerships combined with existing landlord memberships, means that there will now be over 1.3m households with free access to House Exchange.

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ASB: Plans for 31 home development in Hartlepool delayed due to concerns of anti-social behaviour

Councillors have delayed making a decision on plans for a new 31 home affordable housing development over anti-social behaviour worries. Hartlepool Borough Council planning committee was due to make a decision on proposals for 31 two and three bedroomed homes to be built over two separate plots of land off Lealholm Road in Hartlepool.

Planning officers had recommended the plans for the affordable housing, submitted by applicant Engie Ltd in association with housing provider Thirteen, were given the go-ahead.

However councillors moved to defer making a decision until the next meeting to carry out a site visit due to concerns over anti-social behaviour in the area.

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Resident Engagement comment piece: Housing associations should sign up to the ‘Together with Tenants’ charter to prove they care

Daisy Halford, a tenant at Rooftop Housing Group, gives her views about how housing associations can strengthen trust and the customer voice.

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Housing’s fight against modern slavery: Modern slavery is growing in the UK and is now believed to be the second-largest form of organised crime.

Reporter Will Hatchett travels to Wisbech in Cambridgeshire to discover how frontline housing staff are helping fight back.

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Government launches group to give social tenants voice on building safety

Social housing tenants are to join their landlords in a new government-backed ‘best practice’ group to look at ways of improving how tenants can communicate concerns over fire and building safety issues in the future.

The government has launched the Social Sector (Building Safety) Engagement Best Practice Group that will see eight social landlords take part.

Housing associations including Clarion, Optivo, Chelmer Housing Partnership and Phoenix Community Housing will be part of the group, with Sheffield City and Stockport Homes also listed as members.

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Supported housing: Extra care scheme resurrected after LHA cap scrap

Riverside has resurrected plans for an 88-home supported housing scheme in Rochdale, more than three years after it was mothballed over welfare reform fears.

The 55,000-home housing association had been preparing to start work on the £14m extra care development in 2015 when ministers announced plans to apply the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) to the social housing sector.

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Week commencing 1 April

The rise in knife crime being played out across the media, and following on from the fifth stabbing in four days in the north London borough of Edmonton, Rebecca Bryant, chief executive of Resolve, has written about the importance of anti-social behaviour policy.

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Shared ownership households complain of housing segregation

Following on from last week’s Too poor to play: children in social housing blocked from communal playground article, residents of shared ownership homes have spoken of their own issues in accessing the onsite facilities offered to those who fully own their properties.

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Greater Manchester Housing First project launches

A three-year project that aims to rehouse over 400 homeless starts today (April 1) with the first phase of Greater Manchester Housing First (GMHF) roll out across the region.

In February, Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, announced that Great Places Housing Group, would lead a consortium to deliver the city-region’s pioneering Housing First scheme.

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Britain needs decent new council houses – not just musicals about them

As a new musical production, Standing at the Sky’s Edge, tells the story of the Park Hill estate, Sheffield’s famous ‘streets in the sky’ social housing block, Lynsey Hanley talks about how this celebration of social housing, hides a real crisis.

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