This Week

Here’s a roundup of the week’s sector news, updates, announcements, and more:

Monday 19 August 2019

No 10 furious at leak of paper predicting shortages after no-deal Brexit

Downing Street has reacted with fury to the leak of an official document predicting that a no-deal Brexit would lead to food, medicine and petrol shortages, with No 10 sources blaming the disclosure on a hostile former minister intent on ruining Boris Johnson’s trip to see EU leaders this week.

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“General election will stop Brexit crisis”

Jeremy Corbyn will say the UK is facing a Brexit ‘crisis’ and vow to do “everything necessary” to stop the UK leaving the EU without a deal. It comes after a leaked government report warned of food and medicine shortages in a no-deal exit.

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Report dismisses DWP ‘scaremongering’ claims over Universal Credit

A defensive DWP can’t claim critics are “scaremongering” over Universal Credit (UC) until it can define what is an acceptable measure of its impact, a Commons report says.

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UK elderly suffer worst poverty rate in western Europe

The proportion of elderly people living in severe poverty in the UK is five times what it was in 1986, the largest increase among western European countries, according to a new study.

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Four new member appointed to Homes England’s Board

Four new members have been appointed to the Board of Homes England, the government’s housing accelerator, “increasing its gender diversity and boosting its resilience”.

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Friday 16 August 2019

Are Social Housing Green Paper proposals on ice?

One year ago this week, the government published its long-awaited Social Housing Green Paper. This document, which was overdue, was supposed to be the “most substantial report of its kind for a generation” and deliver a “fundamental rethink of social housing in this country”. But these lofty aims remain – as yet – unfulfilled.

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Locked-out asylum seeker allowed to return to Home Office lodgings

A Home Office contractor has smashed a door to asylum seeker accommodation to allow an asylum seeker with an active case back into her room after locking her out just hours before.

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Section 21: More fierce criticism for government over its scrapping

Claims that the use of Section 21 ‘no fault’ eviction notices is the leading cause of homelessness in the UK are “factually incorrect, misleading and just plain wrong”, says the National Landlords Association.

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Citizens Advice training document ‘propagated racist stereotypes’

The training document listed “common traits” allegedly found within BAME communities, including a distrust of British authorities, evidence of gender bias and discrimination, early marriage and large families, low levels of literacy, and a cultural focus on honour and shame.

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Middlesbrough partnership plans social housing redevelopment

“This is a real socialism in action policy and the first really big social housing programme in the town centre in a long time.”

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Thursday 15 August 2019

London house prices continue to slide under Brexit pressure

London house prices have continued their slide with a year-on-year fall of 2.7% in June, figures from the Office for National Statistics have shown. The figure marked a slowdown from the 3.1% drop seen in May, however, which was the biggest fall since the financial crisis.

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Download the full house price index here.

UK inflation unexpectedly overshoots BoE target in July

Britain’s inflation rate unexpectedly overshot the Bank of England’s 2% target on Wednesday, raising the cost of living even before sterling’s slide has had much chance to feed into consumer prices.

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Skye housing association tenants warned over tourist sub-letting

Skye and Lochalsh Housing Association said they could be violating their tenancy agreement by using short-term letting websites such as Airbnb. Earlier this year an analysis by the Chartered Institute of Housing found that one in 10 properties on Skye was being listed on Airbnb.

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Obsession with white working class fuels inequality in north, study warns

Politicians neglect minorities’ needs due to focus on ‘mystical’ demographic, report says.

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Association ‘first in the UK’ to build plastic free homes

Accord has announced plans to become the first in the UK to build virtually plastic free houses in attempts to reduce the amount of the material used during construction.

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Wednesday 14 August 2019

Sir Edward Lister resigns as Homes England Chair

Statement regarding the resignation of Homes England’s Chair.

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Barking fire: social tenants told to return despite safety fears

Residents of east London flats say they are being forced back before safety assessments.

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Average adult will spend more than £60,000 in rent before reaching housing ladder, poll claims

Those who have bought their first home within the last five years previously paid an average of £625 every month in rent to their landlords. And on average, they will be renting for almost eight-and-a-half years before they finally get onto the property ladder, spending a total of £63,225 in rent during that time.

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Lettings agent fined £40,000 for ‘membership club’ scam in landmark prosecution

Gian Paulo Aliatis, the director of Lifestyle Club Ltd in Islington, London, pleaded guilty to three charges on July 30 after Islington Council’s Trading Standards investigated his firm’s bogus claim that it was a members’ club and therefore not subject to the legal regulations for letting agents.

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UK wage growth picks up to 11-year high

Wage growth rose to 3.9%, while the estimated 76.1% employment rate was the best since comparative records began. Overall, a record high of 32.81 million people were in employment, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

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New measure to help authorities ‘better understand’ homelessness

A number of councils have already pledged to take on the Shelter Cymru initiative.

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Tuesday 13 August 2019

British public tells new government: don’t stop talking about the housing crisis

Almost three-quarters of people across the UK believe there’s a housing crisis – and more than half think we’re not talking about it enough, according to a new survey by Ipsos MORI for CIH.

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Housing association strikes £190m bond deal to receive funds immediately after Brexit

Large housing association Moat Homes has agreed an innovative bond deal worth up to £190m to provide it with funds immediately after the UK is scheduled to leave the European Union.

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Bristol-based associations launch housebuilding academy

Bristol Housing Partnership, a group of 14 housing associations working with the Council to deliver more affordable homes in the city, has launched a pilot training and employment scheme aimed at attracting young people to choose a career in housing development.

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Leicestershire mum ‘didn’t have cancer enough’ to receive benefits

Katie Larn was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma last year, and after starting treatment she applied for Personal Independence Payments (PIP). The 29-year-old was told she did not qualify for support after a home visit.

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Expectations for UK economy fall to lowest level since 2011

The Office for National Statistics has said the outlook for the general economic situation for the year ahead is worse than at any point since the final quarter of 2011. Expectations for higher unemployment for the year ahead have also been climbing and are now higher than at any point for the past five-and-a-half years.

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