Local viability policy part 2: What should councils be doing about the viability loophole?

Part one of this blog looked at the councils getting tough on viability assessments. Faced with acute shortages of affordable housing, councils like Bristol City are pulling out all the stops to strengthen their position in Section 106 negotiations with developers. But the development of local policy to limit the damage being done by viability assessments is still in its early stages. Urban councils in areas of high housing demand in the south of England have been much more likely … Read more

The high cost of viability assessments: 2,500 affordable homes lost in just one year

Over the last year, we’ve blogged many times about viability assessments, their role in cutting affordable homes, and the lack of transparency around how developers use them.

New research from Shelter shines a light on just how much damage this legal loophole is doing. Eleven councils covering nine English cities lost 2,500 affordable homes in just one year on schemes where developers used viability assessments. That’s equivalent to a 79% cut in desperately needed affordable homes to … Read more

The 5 most ridiculous properties of 2014

We all know it: house prices are out of control. It would take the average person 12 years to save up a deposit nowadays. And renting is pretty terrible too: renters now spend 40% their income on housing costs.

Terrifying.

The sad/rubbish/anger-inducing thing is that what you get for your money is often, well, pretty damn awful.

Here are five of the worst properties we’ve come across in our trawlings:

1. The £40k shed – up for sale in rural Read more