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There are 25 item(s) tagged with the keyword "Housing".

11. Power to the people - devolve to local government and let us get on with it

Councils could be forgiven for wondering if Government remains as committed to devolution and decentralisation of power, post Brexit, as it appeared to be before June’s vote.

What started well and seemed to have support at the highest level of Government, with George Osborne’s zealot like enthusiasm, doesn’t appear to have the same prominence with new cabinet figures, indeed some fear that the agenda could simply fizzle out.

Tags: devolution, Local government, APSE, Housing, transport, Skills, employment, economic growth
12. Homes for all: Ensuring councils can deliver the homes we need

APSE's report ‘Homes for all: Ensuring councils can deliver the homes we need’, was launched last week at Parliament. It was a timely reminder of the role local government could play in tackling the housing crisis facing the UK.

Unfortunately the passing of the hugely controversial Housing and Planning Act the day before was a reminder that the current Government don’t see the direct involvement of councils as part of the long term solution. Their preference is clearly to pursue the notion of a home owning democracy, irrespective of whether the public want this or the housing market can deliver it. This approach ignores the many groups in society most in need of affordable homes and who are unlikely to ever be in a position to achieve home ownership or funds for a starter home.


Tags: Housing, APSE, TCPA, housing crisis, housing companies
13. Let's build housing again

The Housing and Planning Bill, winging its way through Parliament is proving less than popular, whilst a series of amendments attempt to temper the worst excesses, there is a fundamental flaw in the Bill and that is the very policy premise upon which it is based.

For a number of years successive governments have sort to rely upon market driven solutions to the housing crisis, wedded to the idea of a ‘home owning democracy’. In reality, we have many people on low and middle incomes who will never be able to afford their own home and have no real interest in doing so, yet we have failed to support an affordable rental sector.


Tags: Housing, Local government, APSE
14. Housing the Nation: Ensuring Councils can deliver more and better homes

In 1966, the TV drama Cathy Come Home was described as  being like 'an ice-pick in the brain of all who saw it' such were the hard-hitting messages of homelessness, poverty and despair. Sadly nearly 50 years later we are still plagued by housing shortages and homelessness. Cathy's despair didn't transfer into the political will to make homes for all a priority.

DCLG released quarterly figures on 21 May and yet again council house building is at the bottom of the pile with just 1,230 homes completed between April 2014 and March 2015 in England. Set these figures against the backdrop of some 1.7 M on council waiting lists in England, and it’s clear that housing remains an ongoing national crisis.

Tags: Housing, Local government, APSE, TCPA
15. Need, opportunity and uncertainty - a mixed bag for housing

APSE's recent Housing and Building Maintenance seminar In Leeds gave me a chance to hear the views of colleagues working in this sector of local government and the issues that were vexing them, three main issues came to the fore.

Tags: Housing, APSE, Green Deal, Universal credit
By Paul O'Brien
16. Time for new build

I gave evidence in London today to Lord Whitty's inquiry on the affordable housing crisis.

My starting point was that to resolve this crisis local authorities need to play a key role again in providing a quality affordable housing option for all not just a safety net for some.

It's important to place where we have got too in a context, therefore I referred to the fact that the challenge for the new government of the day in 1997 was clearly about tackling the £22b backlog of repairs in council houses and bringing them up to the decent homes standard. However, the process which brought this about resulted in stock transfers, continuation of right to buy and demolitions.

Tags: Housing, APSE, Communities, Whitty
By Paul O'Brien
17. The housing crisis is back

The housing crisis is back. For many in local government dealing with the consequences of homelessness, overcrowding and poor stock condition, it has never really gone away. The difference is that the problem is now reaching previously untouched sectors of society – and it's about to get worse.

Home ownership is predicted to drop to 63%, its lowest level since the mid 1980s, a whole generation are 'locked out' of the housing market, and there is chronic lack of supply of new homes, according to the Oxford Economics' report that recently hit national headlines.

Tags: Housing, APSE, Local government
By Paul O'Brien
18. What does APSE want from an incoming Government?

I could probably have written pages about what APSE wants from an incoming Government, however today someone asked me to do so in 100 words and I gave the following comment:

Tags: transformation, general election, APSE, environment, housing, Skills
By Paul O'Brien
19. a manifesto for council housing

Spoke today at the Defend Council Housing conference London, ‘A manifesto for council housing.’ My talk was promoting two pieces of research APSE have recently completed the first a joint publication with ARCH, on the holistic benefits of retained council housing, ‘Under one roof'; and the second about the work UNISON commissioned from APSE on ‘A new generation of council housing'.

Tags: housing, APSE
By Paul O'Brien
20. Housing issues in Scotland

Chaired a debate today at APSE's Scottish Housing conference at Peebles Hydro. We had a first class panel of speakers with Alex Neil MSP the Housing and Communities Minister facing the opposition spokespersons for Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, Michael McMahon MSP, Derek Brownlee MSP and Jeremy Purvis MSP. Dave Watson the UNISON Scotland organiser also spoke in the debate.

Tags: Housing, APSE, Alex Neil, Michael McMahon, Derek Brownlee, Jeremy Purvis, Dave Watson, Dave Prentis
By Paul O'Brien

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Promoting excellence in public services

APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit unincorporated association working with over 300 councils throughout the UK. Promoting excellence in public services, APSE is the foremost specialist in local authority frontline services, hosting a network for frontline service providers in areas such as waste and refuse collection, parks and environmental services, cemeteries and crematorium, environmental health, leisure, school meals, cleaning, housing and building maintenance.






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