In our monthly series of industry blogs, we look at the global changes and trends affecting the UK Social Housing industry, as well as pressing issues on a national scale.
Christmas, Brexit, the housing crisis and global environmental sustainability continue to be major focuses in October.
Here we explore several of the big stories so far, this October.
According to research from the National Housing Federation (NHF), 90% of homes are unaffordable for claimants of Local Housing Allowance (LHA) The NHF’s report reflects similar findings released by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Over recent years, LHA rates have been frozen – or even cut – while the cost of rent has continued to rise. This has naturally led the UK into a situation where rent cannot be paid using the benefits available, which then traps people in homelessness. The charity Crisis is now campaigning for change.
The Government has announced plans for a ‘green standard’ for all new builds Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has unveiled a proposal to amend building regulations for all homes built after 2025, which aims to tackle the housing carbon footprint. Titled ‘The Future Homes Standard’, it will mean polluting fossil fuel heating systems like gas boilers are banned from new builds and must be replaced with clean technology, such as air source heat pumps and solar panels.
Housing associations and others are at risk of a labour ‘supply shock’ following Brexit and in the run-up to Christmas The CIPD has reported that 56% of employers do not have enough information to effectively manage the recruitment of non-UK workers after Brexit. Many employers are currently struggling to fill permanent roles, and expect the pressure to worsen as Christmas approaches. While most businesses have been focused on retaining the EU nationals they already employ, they have neglected to focus on planning their future recruitment.
New Government plans allow housing association tenants to buy their homes Plans have been set out by the Government to give housing association tenants the right to purchase a share in equity of their property. Tenants will be able to buy 10% of their homes, rising in 1% ‘chunks’. The Housing Secretary stated that the new right will be automatic for newly built homes, with a ‘voluntary’ arrangement between associations and the government for existing tenants.
The Housing Forum has highlighted the Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) sector as a way of future proofing the housing supply Published by the Housing Forum, MMC for Affordable Housing looks to eliminate common myths surrounding the sector, such as lack of quality and difficulty in securing finance. The key aim is to help public sector organisations accurately assess the business case for MMC. With faster build times, less disruption to communities and fewer defects, the Housing Forum claims MMC can help the Government meet its commitment to deliver 300,000 new homes per year – at an affordable rate.
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