Vacant lots

As all the attention focuses on housing associations, what about the impact of the right to buy extension on local authorities?

Councils in England have sold 1.8 million homes to tenants since 1980. Sales accelerated again following the introduction of increased discounts by the coalition with little sign of the promised one for one replacement. Now they face being forced to sell their remaining high value stock as it becomes vacant to pay for the discounts for housing association tenants. The receipts will allegedly finance the discounts, plus the construction of replacement homes plus a £1 billion brownfield regeneration fund.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

What do Power Lists say about who really has power?

Love them or hate them but it’s hard to ignore them. There are lists for everything from the greatest films to the richest people and the housing world is no exception.

For the second year running, housing has two alternative lists. The Power Players Top 50 was first published by 24 Housing in 2012 and Paul Taylor compiled the Digital Power Players list in 2013. This year the magazine published both: the official list in April and the digital list in the latest (June) issue.

Cover73_380 Cover71-380

The lists, and the differences between them, got me thinking about power and who has it in housing. Or rather who other people think has it, since the results are inevitably influenced by the way they are compiled.

Read the rest of this entry »


Rough justice

Why did that picture of anti-homeless spikes get such prominence on Twitter and in the media over the weekend?

Here is the tweet from Anglican priest Sally Hitchiner that sparked an angry wave of Twitter reaction and follow-up stories in the national press.

Sally

 

What she called studs, but look to many other people like spikes, do indeed send a very negative message. Many people have noted the resemblance to anti-pigeon measures on London buildings. And Katharine Sacks-Jones of Crisis points out that there are just one part of a rough tale for rough sleepers. ‘We will never end homelessness with studs in the pavement – only by tackling the root causes,’ she points out.

Yet for all those powerful arguments, anti-homeless urban design is sadly not new or unusual. There have been previous furores in Britain, notably involving Tesco, and there are much worse examples in other cities around the world.

-> Read the rest of this post on Inside Edge, my blog for Inside Housing