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I have been informed by someone in the know that at the National Policy Forum in Warwick last weekend Labour agreed new proposals to allow councils to play a greater role in future provision of social housing including building new council homes.

For the first time local authorities will be able to apply for social housing grants, formerly only available to RSLs and local authorities with ALMOs. This creates the level playing field between authorities with and without ALMOs in this regard, that members have wanted to see. Access to these funds will allow good councils to build new council homes to allocate to tenants on the basis of the same system of affordable rents and secure tenancies which apply to existing council homes. The Housing and Regeneration Act, which achieved Royal Assent last week, provides that councils will be able to keep the rents from new build properties and the full capital receipts.

Also as part of the Warwick discussions it has also been agreed that the Review of the Housing Revenue Account subsidy system is to address the key issues around rents, subsidy, debt and management and maintenance. We all want to see a long-term and sustainable system for funding council housing, in particular we will work with local authorities to ensure stock is of a decent standard as well as providing the social and affordable homes we need in the future.

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I have been informed by someone in the know that at the National Policy Forum in Warwick last weekend Labour agreed new proposals to allow councils to play a greater role in future provision of social housing including building new council homes.

For the first time local authorities will be able to apply for social housing grants, formerly only available to RSLs and local authorities with ALMOs. This creates the level playing field between authorities with and without ALMOs in this regard, that members have wanted to see. Access to these funds will allow good councils to build new council homes to allocate to tenants on the basis of the same system of affordable rents and secure tenancies which apply to existing council homes. The Housing and Regeneration Act, which achieved Royal Assent last week, provides that councils will be able to keep the rents from new build properties and the full capital receipts.

Also as part of the Warwick discussions it has also been agreed that the Review of the Housing Revenue Account subsidy system is to address the key issues around rents, subsidy, debt and management and maintenance. We all want to see a long-term and sustainable system for funding council housing, in particular we will work with local authorities to ensure stock is of a decent standard as well as providing the social and affordable homes we need in the future.

I think this is a terrible thing. Before I worked in housing I would have agreed with you. But been there done that got the postcard. Actually having seen the difference between local authority housing delivery and RSL deliveries (thats Housing Association to most people) the only differences I can see are:

  • Housing associations are better at keeping their stock in good nick (unless they took over a pile of shite council stock - the remanants after all the good stuff had been bought by individuals under 'right to buy')

  • Housing associations generally don't spend most of their time doing politics and making sure that local politicians don't find out about the scandals in their stock - they just fix the problem

  • Housing associations know why they are there (to provide housing, not a huge range of services that compete with each other for funding)

  • Housing associations don't have right-to-buy so the good stock stays in the social housing sector and isn't fed into property market bubbles (although this is changing at a rate with the thicko free-market Labour party thinking on the social housing market over the past few years).

  • Housing associations have better freedom to find the best value in sub-contractors. Councils have such onerous requirements for buying services particularly where they are over the EU limits that they often disappear the tenders up their own arses.

I would rather they just injected more money into the sector and let the HAs get on with it.

This is how it works.

  • Housing Associations are Not for Profit companies. Their ONLY role is to provide housing.

  • Councils already determine the priority for Housing Corporation bids.

  • The bids are submitted by the Housing Associations.

  • The Council endorses them.

  • The Housing Corporation allocates the money.

  • The Housing Association gets on and builds it as part of their core business 'to provide housing'.

  • The Housing Association lets the property from the social housing list - just like before when the council had the houses.

  • People move in and live in the houses and pay social rents

How would bringing back shitty council housing be better?

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Great news! More scroungers living off my work.

Another person very quick to assume that everyone living in a council house doesn't work...

My mum lives in one, works very hard cleaning a school each day. They're not all benefit scroungers, and more social housing with cheap rents is a good thing if we ever want to escape from the UK's cartel of landowner barons.

Some interesting thoughts, Elizabeth.. I agree that HA's do a much better job of managing things, having lived under one before... they seem to be very quick about fixing damage and making improvements.

Edited by DementedTuna

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I think this is a terrible thing. Before I worked in housing I would have agreed with you. But been there done that got the postcard. Actually having seen the difference between local authority housing delivery and RSL deliveries (thats Housing Association to most people) the only differences I can see are:
  • Housing associations are better at keeping their stock in good nick (unless they took over a pile of shite council stock - the remanants after all the good stuff had been bought by individuals under 'right to buy')

  • Housing associations generally don't spend most of their time doing politics and making sure that local politicians don't find out about the scandals in their stock - they just fix the problem

  • Housing associations know why they are there (to provide housing, not a huge range of services that compete with each other for funding)

  • Housing associations don't have right-to-buy so the good stock stays in the social housing sector and isn't fed into property market bubbles (although this is changing at a rate with the thicko free-market Labour party thinking on the social housing market over the past few years).

  • Housing associations have better freedom to find the best value in sub-contractors. Councils have such onerous requirements for buying services particularly where they are over the EU limits that they often disappear the tenders up their own arses.

I would rather they just injected more money into the sector and let the HAs get on with it.

This is how it works.

  • Housing Associations are Not for Profit companies. Their ONLY role is to provide housing.

  • Councils already determine the priority for Housing Corporation bids.

  • The bids are submitted by the Housing Associations.

  • The Council endorses them.

  • The Housing Corporation allocates the money.

  • The Housing Association gets on and builds it as part of their core business 'to provide housing'.

  • The Housing Association lets the property from the social housing list - just like before when the council had the houses.

  • People move in and live in the houses and pay social rents

How would bringing back shitty council housing be better?

As a council dweller my view is very different. 'My' council bungalow is very well maintained with all the bells and whistles. The rent is much lower than it would be if it was HA owned and I have a much more secure tenancy.

Of course transfer to a HA is great for councils because it means that they get a few more million quid to throw away so they almost always push for it. Finally the government is waking up to the fact that the higher rents charged by HA's often have to be covered by Housing benefits and in many cases mean that it's better to go on the dole and get HB rather than bothering to work.

Housing associations are good for banks because they(the HA's) can easily kick out tenants and sell off properties if necessary. Good for councils as I've said. Good for the pigs that run them. But bad for tax payers and tenants.

HA's are non-profit making? They are allowed to make a surplus which is like a profit but called a surplus.

'The Housing Corporation allocates the money? ' Not according to the HC they don't.

Edit, many council houses are transfered with a retained right to buy. It's called a 'retained right to buy' oddly enough.

Edited by council dweller

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Building more decent family sized housing seems like a good idea to me. Both myself and my wife work and I would much

rather rent a council house and for the rent to go back into building more council houses. It provide homes and jobs.

We need to build more houses on a massive scale to add to the supply to make housing affordable even after the crash,

the private sector are not going to do it.

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Building more decent family sized housing seems like a good idea to me. Both myself and my wife work and I would much

rather rent a council house and for the rent to go back into building more council houses. It provide homes and jobs.

We need to build more houses on a massive scale to add to the supply to make housing affordable even after the crash,

the private sector are not going to do it.

The estate was built in the early fifties and is a good place to live. Why can't it be done now? Are we poorer now? Is our population ten times what it was then?

Edited by council dweller

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Great news! More scroungers living off my work.

My mum lives in a council house too. she's a nurse. my sister lives with her, also a nurse. - obviously though, you will never require care from another human being. Most of her neighbours work hard at low paid essential jobs, without which the country would grind to a halt in a matter of hours. Some scroungers but I would take them for neighbours any day over a petit-bourgeois like you. I suspect your own roots are not exactly salubrious, given your obvious display of ignorance.

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... I would much rather rent a council house and for the rent to go back into building more council houses.

Your rent would go part way to paying the interest on the money borrowed to build your house in the first place. Then there's maintenance, insurance, updating, administration, managment costs, accounting, collection of rent arrears .... etc. etc.. I'm sure there's more.

I'm not opposed to municipal housing, per se, but I don't believe it's self-financing. Someone will correct me if I'm wrong, no doubt.

p

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Your rent would go part way to paying the interest on the money borrowed to build your house in the first place. Then there's maintenance, insurance, updating, administration, managment costs, accounting, collection of rent arrears .... etc. etc.. I'm sure there's more.

I'm not opposed to municipal housing, per se, but I don't believe it's self-financing. Someone will correct me if I'm wrong, no doubt.

p

No of course it's subsidised see those big houses with the big driveways, they pay more council tax which helps the people who clean the streets, empty the dustbins etc to live within the community too.

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Why can't it be done now? Are we poorer now? Is our population ten times what it was then?

Maybe in the fifties, councils weren't burdened with the 90% inefficiency overhead as advancead as they are today: employing the correct number of lesbians, risk assessments, prayer meetings, anger management workshops, gender awareness considerations.

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After say 25 years the rent accrued has more than paid for a council house and then becomes a very useful stream of income for the council. If council stock hadn't been sold off imagine the annual revenue it would bring in for the council

and this could have allowed for a much lower council tax.

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Social housing cannot increase the land and housing available for rent, all it can do is cause an imbalance in the marketplace forcing those who would otherwise pay market rates out of homes they could otherwise afford and into social housing themselves or cheaper accommodation, or make them pay more to obtain the same standard of accommodation they would otherwise have.

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Personally I think its rank unfairness that one group of people get subsidised housing and absolute security of tenure whereas others either spend decades of paying off a mortgage or rent at full market rates with no security of tenure.

I'm also sceptical about council estates - I'm sure they are a few good ones - but all the ones I know of are hives of scum and villainy, their foul effluent spilling forth innoculates the surrouding areas with crime and filth.

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Fudge #13: After say 25 years the rent accrued has more than paid for a council house and then becomes a very useful stream of income for the council. If council stock hadn't been sold off imagine the annual revenue it would bring in for the council and this could have allowed for a much lower council tax.

My understanding is that rental revenue is ring-fenced and surpluses accrue to the government.

'Spend council rent on building and improving council housing':

http://www.lga.gov.uk/lga/core/page.do?pageId=772228

Notes to editor:

Every council that owns and manages housing is required to maintain a Housing Revenue Account. This is ring-fenced from the council's other income. The Government then assumes how much of it the council needs to spend and also sets out how much rent a tenant pays. From these calculations it is determined whether or not the authority is entitled to receive a Housing Revenue Account subsidy, or whether it pays into a central pool. In 2008/09, it is estimated that 50 councils are receiving subsidy and 156 are paying. This effectively means that some council tenants are subsidising tenants in other parts of the country through their rents. Eventually all local authorities will be net contributors to the scheme. The redistributive 'pool' is also in surplus by almost £200 million, and on current trends is projected to increase as follows:

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Fudge #13: After say 25 years the rent accrued has more than paid for a council house and then becomes a very useful stream of income for the council. If council stock hadn't been sold off imagine the annual revenue it would bring in for the council and this could have allowed for a much lower council tax.

My understanding is that rental revenue is ring-fenced and surpluses accrue to the government.

'Spend council rent on building and improving council housing':

http://www.lga.gov.uk/lga/core/page.do?pageId=772228

This is no different to how the rest of local government is funded.

75% of council grants are now funded by business rates which councils collect but pay over to the government. They get some of the money back in line with 'need' as decided by ministers. Westminster for example collects more in business rates than all the councils in Merseyside, Tyne and Wear and South Yorkshire combined - so to all intents and purposes businesses in Oxford St and the West End are paying for a large proportion of council services (and subsidising council tax payers) in places like Doncaster, South Tyneside and Liverpool.

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Guess it will be good news for those who qualify for council housing. Seems particularly unfair to those who haven't accumulated enough 'points'.

You mean people who know how to use contraception.

I remember Diane Abbott on This Week recently about many of her constituents on benefits complaining they needed bigger council flats. Apparently when they were given their two bed flat they only had one kid - now they have three and expect a 3 bed house. ;)

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I have been informed by someone in the know that at the National Policy Forum in Warwick last weekend Labour agreed new proposals to allow councils to play a greater role in future provision of social housing including building new council homes.

For the first time local authorities will be able to apply for social housing grants, formerly only available to RSLs and local authorities with ALMOs. This creates the level playing field between authorities with and without ALMOs in this regard, that members have wanted to see. Access to these funds will allow good councils to build new council homes to allocate to tenants on the basis of the same system of affordable rents and secure tenancies which apply to existing council homes. The Housing and Regeneration Act, which achieved Royal Assent last week, provides that councils will be able to keep the rents from new build properties and the full capital receipts.

Also as part of the Warwick discussions it has also been agreed that the Review of the Housing Revenue Account subsidy system is to address the key issues around rents, subsidy, debt and management and maintenance. We all want to see a long-term and sustainable system for funding council housing, in particular we will work with local authorities to ensure stock is of a decent standard as well as providing the social and affordable homes we need in the future.

Since the Labour party are probably goners at the next election this is likely to be no more than a historical footnote, unless Cameron adopts to help revive the economy by a massive program to build public housing like the much maligned Neville Chamberlain did in the 1930's. (nb - Between 1919 and 1939 central government provided subsidies for council housing totalling £208m toward the construction in England and Wales of 1,112,505 council houses and 430,327 private houses.)

Shame they did not think about adopting such policies in 1997. They might have avoided such extreme HPI followed by a matching HPC.

Too little, too late.

Edited by up2nogood

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Personally I think its rank unfairness that one group of people get subsidised housing and absolute security of tenure whereas others either spend decades of paying off a mortgage or rent at full market rates with no security of tenure.

I agree. If the law was shifted to be more in favour of tenants like it was pre-thatcher we wouldn't need more "social housing" - the free market would provide. Fair rent and fair treatment of tenants (not like second class citizens) like in Germany and other countries where renting isn't looked down upon.

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If these cheap, secure homes are available to all regardless of income or circumstance, with the rent the same etc, then I'm all for it. Otherwise forget it. Level playing field please.

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My mum lives in a council house too. she's a nurse. my sister lives with her, also a nurse. - obviously though, you will never require care from another human being. Most of her neighbours work hard at low paid essential jobs, without which the country would grind to a halt in a matter of hours. Some scroungers but I would take them for neighbours any day over a petit-bourgeois like you. I suspect your own roots are not exactly salubrious, given your obvious display of ignorance.

It is a national tragedy if hard working people doing essential jobs need government subsidised housing to put a roof over their heads.

At the moment, a great many hard working people cannot afford to buy, so have to rent at full market rent, with no security of tenancy and no right to buy. This is totally inequitable, and both examples go to show that hard work simply doesn't pay in Brown's Britain.

Edited by Wayo

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