Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bungalows, but not in my back yard

Nick Boles, the former planning minister, was a fan of bungalows. When he called for more to be built last year, especially for older people, he drew praise from the Telegraph and the Guardian (the latter characteristically reminded us that … Continue reading

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That sinking feeling*

It would be easy to condemn this weeks’ Policy Exchange report on ‘turning round’ Britain’s council estates. But it is important to separate out the spin and editorialising from the evidence in the report. Published by a think tank with … Continue reading

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OK Brandon, let’s see the evidence

The right to buy has become a big issue again. The new Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis, has taken a bullish stance, as reported widely in the newspapers yesterday, for example here and here. The new controversy follows endless reports about Councils being … Continue reading

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I’m troubled and I don’t know why*

There is nothing wrong with a Government setting up a special programme to help those families facing the most disadvantage to overcome the problems they face. Indeed it is laudable to see resources devoted to this objective. So why is … Continue reading

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Giving away council houses

Next June it will be 40 years since it was first proposed that council houses should be given away to tenants. It was too radical even for Margaret Thatcher, but there is always someone who will resuscitate a daft idea. … Continue reading

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Some good ideas for using just a tiny fraction of those surpluses

With housing associations surpluses flying through the roof – the 15 biggest London associations recording more than £1 billion for the first time – this is a good moment to consider what more these huge organisations with their huge surpluses (and … Continue reading

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Another inglorious failure

It’s not that we like being proved right, especially when things in housing are so dire, but the Financial Times’ analysis of the Government’s New Homes Bonus leads us automatically into ‘we told you so’ territory. Mind you, analysis of … Continue reading

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‘Poor doors’ and a ‘failed brand’

The Mayor of New York probably has enough on his plate without keeping up with Red Brick. But if he did, he’d find we are much bigger fans of his than we are of Boris Johnson. Told of the new … Continue reading

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Who is affordable housing for?

Wide differences in approach to the future of social housing and of social housing providers were exposed in a Guardian Live online debate yesterday. The debate, entitled ‘Who is affordable housing for?’ included a range of housing association representatives and … Continue reading

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Housing and welfare policy – still pale and stale

Does that fact that both Eric Pickles and Iain Duncan Smith are still in the same cabinet seats mean that David Cameron thinks they are doing a good job? Two prime candidates for the chop this week seem to have … Continue reading

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