A third of councils in England are failing to tackle the housing crisis as they are not delivering the new homes needed and could face sanctions, official figures show.
More than 40% of former council homes now rented out by private landlords
Councils in England have been criticised for using money to invest in the commercial property market when it could be send on providing much needed affordable homes.
Liverpool residents could be given help to buy their own homes through a Rent to Buy initiative being set up by the city council’s new housing company, Foundations.
Lord Porter says future tenants may be able to help design their future council homes
Not everyone will be fans, but by cross-subsidising, talking to residents and valuing good design, the east London borough is investing in some of the best council housing ever built
The right-to-buy scheme slowed construction of new homes but local authorities are exploring new funding options
Women fleeing domestic abuse have told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme they are being left homeless because councils are failing to provide them with suitable temporary accommodation.
Selling off council homes is economically and morally reprehensible. The government needs to halt its kneejerk support for home ownership
n 2015, England’s local authorities built fewer than 3,000 new homes, just a tiny fraction of the estimated 250,000 new homes needed every year to meet demand. But one council has begun building again in volume, in what some see as a model for tackling the housing crisis.
On the outskirts of Sheffield, hundreds of new homes are springing up, built by the council to space standards that have all but disappeared in the private sector. New residents – the majority are 25-35 year olds – say they are impressed by the designs and spaciousness, and enjoy their close proximity to the city.
It is one of the great insanities of our age. The government can borrow money for the long term more cheaply than at any time in centuries. At the same time, councils and housing associations are screaming out for long-term funds to build the homes Britain desperately needs. Instead we are in gridlock, with the communities secretary Sajid Javid issuing a white paper that acknowledges the housing market is “broken”, and which admits we need to build as many as 275,000 homes a year compared with the 190,000 last year – but then only think of fixes that do not involve borrowing a penny.
THE City of Wolverhampton Council is preparing a detailed business case to set up its own housing company.
The city currently has sufficient land identified to meet projected housing targets but the council is eager to increase the rate of delivery.
The proposal was approved by the council’s cabinet earlier this month, and the full detailed business case will go before a future cabinet for further consideration.
Dwindling buy-to-let yields have scared off many investors, but there are ways of making the market work.
‘Kerb appeal’ might be a superficially attractive way of choosing a buy-to-let property, but in a difficult market, investors are finding a more pragmatic approach brings the largest returns.
Yields in expensive areas such as London and the South West can be as low as 3pc, and are likely to be hit hard by new tax rules which mean landlords can no longer deduct the cost of their mortgage interest from their rental income before calculating their tax bill.
The housing and planning bill currently before parliament will make the housing crisis worse. It sets out to reduce the number of genuinely affordable homes, and encourage even more property speculation. Extending right to buy to housing association tenants will be paid for by selling off “high value” council homes on the open market, with no guarantee that homes sold will be replaced. Council and housing association tenants with a family income over £30,000 (£40,000 in London) will be pushed to pay market rents, driving many from their homes and destroying mixed communities.
The number of council homes in England sold under the right to buy scheme has more than doubled in two years.
The latest figures show sales are now above what they were in 2007, before the financial crisis that triggered the recession.
Three-bed property near Covent Garden bought for £130,000 in 1990 realises return on investment of more than 800% for owners
Plans to give housing association tenants the right to buy their homes will become the first test of "English votes for English laws" when they are considered in the Commons later.
Ahead of the Housing Bill's second reading, Speaker John Bercow said parts of it "apply exclusively" to England and others to England and Wales only.
Conservative pledge to extend right-to-buy scheme could force the sale of one in 14 council homes in England, according to research
The discounts are bigger than those ever envisaged by Margaret Thatcher and amount to almost £4bn, a Guardian investigation has found
Opt in here