Toby Lloyd
Toby Lloyd

By Toby Lloyd

Strengthening planning from the ground up

The Neighbourhood Planning Bill is another attempt to balance the competing interests that can make planning so divisive. In strengthening neighbourhood plans and compulsory purchase powers it’s a welcome step towards a strong, positive planning system.

Reading Martina Lees’ excellent Sunday Times piece on the travails of the planning system left me feeling real pity for planners. Everyone seems to hate them – for letting homes get built, for NOT letting homes get built, for being too slow with decisions, … MORE...

John Bibby
John Bibby

By John Bibby

Debate around buy-to-let tax changes points to general need for extra safeguards for tenants

The new government looks set to press ahead with controversial changes to the tax regime for small landlords that were set in motion last year. Warnings that this will have disastrous consequences for renters appear overblown, given that our research shows a minority of landlords will be affected.

But it is fair to say that some landlords will likely be forced to sell or put rents up, and safeguards should be put in place to protect tenants affected by this … MORE...

Janey S
Janey S

By Janey S

Renters need a stable home too

Not convinced short-term contracts are unfair on renters?  We think much can be done to improve rental contracts. Please, if you have time, read on to find out why.

A stable home gives you security. It helps you to put down roots and gives you the chance to plan for the future. However, if you’re renting – living on six to 12 month contracts, life is uncertain and unpredictable.

1 in 4 families are now renting privately. If you’re a … MORE...

Steve Akehurst
Steve Akehurst

By Steve Akehurst

The future of social housing – take aways from our recent roundtable

Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA, delivered the RSA’s annual lecture last week. A former Head of Policy at No 10, Taylor looked at the issue of ‘why policy fails and how it might succeed’. In it he examined the fate of major policy innovations across recent history; those that have stood the test of time (like the Minimum Wage, Scottish devolution and the smoking ban) and those that have withered (he cites the Child Trust fund, the poll … MORE...

Vicky Pearlman
Vicky Pearlman

By Vicky Pearlman

An endless summer is no good for social housing tenants worried about a rent rise

The introduction of Pay to Stay from April 2017 will see some higher income social tenants required to pay more rent. Local councils are responsible for managing Pay to Stay but there is considerable uncertainty still about whether they will have the necessary IT processes or staffing in place, or enough time to inform tenants and assess their incomes, before the change is comes into effect in April 2017.

We might have been basking in the unexpected sunshine of an … MORE...