Let the public know more about the inner workings of Housing Associations

The current legislation of Housing Associations isnt possible to be viewed or discussed openly. There are huge issues surrounding selling off housing stock and also problems with management. Complaints procedures internally are often unfairly weighted in favour of the housing association. The best way to go forward would be to be more helpful about complaints and stop the denial. Also stop selling housing stock next to private properties, since the two don’t mix.

Why is this idea important?

The current legislation of Housing Associations isnt possible to be viewed or discussed openly. There are huge issues surrounding selling off housing stock and also problems with management. Complaints procedures internally are often unfairly weighted in favour of the housing association. The best way to go forward would be to be more helpful about complaints and stop the denial. Also stop selling housing stock next to private properties, since the two don’t mix.

Dis-repair and social housing

I think the housing dis-repair laws need to be looked at so tenant's in social housing are unable to claim dis-repair.  Since the decent homes iniatative has been brought in, homes in social housing are now and will in the near future be of an excellent standard so tenant's should be unable to claim dis-repair.  The only people who gain from dis-repair in the social housing sector are solicitors – particularly those who mail-drop/target social housing tenants.  Im am in favour of dis-repair in the private sector – it is essential with some private landlords but now completely un-necessary in the social housing sector.  It also costs social housing providers as they have to pay solicitors to represent them – the money could be used to improve tenants homes rather than pay legal costs.

Why is this idea important?

I think the housing dis-repair laws need to be looked at so tenant's in social housing are unable to claim dis-repair.  Since the decent homes iniatative has been brought in, homes in social housing are now and will in the near future be of an excellent standard so tenant's should be unable to claim dis-repair.  The only people who gain from dis-repair in the social housing sector are solicitors – particularly those who mail-drop/target social housing tenants.  Im am in favour of dis-repair in the private sector – it is essential with some private landlords but now completely un-necessary in the social housing sector.  It also costs social housing providers as they have to pay solicitors to represent them – the money could be used to improve tenants homes rather than pay legal costs.

Fossilised studentification

The HMO planning policy introduced by Labour as affects so called 'studentification' has already been reduced by this new government, but there are still Article 4 uses of the regulations that need to go.

This NIMBY policy creates 'fossilised studentifcation' in that once those who have a protected monopoly in an area for their own HMO, they are not going to let it go back to family usage. It discourages competition and investment and creates a false market.

The regulation lacks other mechanisms – e.g., council or housing association accommodation designed for families, or proper investment in purpose built student accommodation.  Note that neither of these solutions incur a long term cost as they bring in rents too.  Universities, councils and investment enterprises are quite capable of addressing this themselves without artificial social engineering as is attempted by these regulations.

It also disadvantages home owners who wish to let out their home on a periodic or medium term basis. This restriction can actually be a disincentive for families to move into an area.  It also affects house prices in a way that is unfair to families – lowering the price by restricting the sales possibilities in an area where adjacent properties are fossilised into being HMO lets by this regulation.

The term 'studentification' is a pejorative which is underserved.  The argument that the area goes quiet when student leave is not much of an argument.  It probably originates with a few shop owners who do quite nicely when the students are there, but want a bit more business when they are not. Anyway,  it's nice when it goes quiet!

This policy is ill-thought out and an undue interference.  Get rid of it please.  We don't need it.

Why is this idea important?

The HMO planning policy introduced by Labour as affects so called 'studentification' has already been reduced by this new government, but there are still Article 4 uses of the regulations that need to go.

This NIMBY policy creates 'fossilised studentifcation' in that once those who have a protected monopoly in an area for their own HMO, they are not going to let it go back to family usage. It discourages competition and investment and creates a false market.

The regulation lacks other mechanisms – e.g., council or housing association accommodation designed for families, or proper investment in purpose built student accommodation.  Note that neither of these solutions incur a long term cost as they bring in rents too.  Universities, councils and investment enterprises are quite capable of addressing this themselves without artificial social engineering as is attempted by these regulations.

It also disadvantages home owners who wish to let out their home on a periodic or medium term basis. This restriction can actually be a disincentive for families to move into an area.  It also affects house prices in a way that is unfair to families – lowering the price by restricting the sales possibilities in an area where adjacent properties are fossilised into being HMO lets by this regulation.

The term 'studentification' is a pejorative which is underserved.  The argument that the area goes quiet when student leave is not much of an argument.  It probably originates with a few shop owners who do quite nicely when the students are there, but want a bit more business when they are not. Anyway,  it's nice when it goes quiet!

This policy is ill-thought out and an undue interference.  Get rid of it please.  We don't need it.

Drop extra restrictions on Housing Association development

For years, the Housing Corporation (as was – and may be again, who knows?) has required Housing Associations to meet standards far in excess of building regulations when building new housing, with the result that social housing is more expensive to develop than private housing of an equivalent size and Housing Associations often have to reject the chance to acquire perfectly good property offered to them by developers 'off the shelf'  for social rent because they do not meet some standard or other. The reason normally given for this is that the government likes to test ideas on housing associations before they are introduced as building regulations. There might have been an argument for this in the days of 100% grant, but not now that there is an unprecedented shortage of social housing and minimal grant. This is ridiculous – most of the people waiting for social housing would be overjoyed to be offered a brand new house of the type that a housing association might have to turn down and  this sort of over-regulation is just slowing down the supply of affordable housing and making social housing more expensive.  If something is such a good idea, just put it in building regs and have done with it. Leave housing associations and their tenants to decide what standards they want to set for their own accommodation – they are the ones who will have to manage and maintain it and they have the experience to recognise what will give them problems in the future.

Why is this idea important?

For years, the Housing Corporation (as was – and may be again, who knows?) has required Housing Associations to meet standards far in excess of building regulations when building new housing, with the result that social housing is more expensive to develop than private housing of an equivalent size and Housing Associations often have to reject the chance to acquire perfectly good property offered to them by developers 'off the shelf'  for social rent because they do not meet some standard or other. The reason normally given for this is that the government likes to test ideas on housing associations before they are introduced as building regulations. There might have been an argument for this in the days of 100% grant, but not now that there is an unprecedented shortage of social housing and minimal grant. This is ridiculous – most of the people waiting for social housing would be overjoyed to be offered a brand new house of the type that a housing association might have to turn down and  this sort of over-regulation is just slowing down the supply of affordable housing and making social housing more expensive.  If something is such a good idea, just put it in building regs and have done with it. Leave housing associations and their tenants to decide what standards they want to set for their own accommodation – they are the ones who will have to manage and maintain it and they have the experience to recognise what will give them problems in the future.