Category Archives: Housing

Work begins on housing co-operative

Work is under way on what will be the first housing co-operative in Merseyside in more than a decade.

Housing association Riverside is building five three-bedroom houses on the site of Beacon House in Portland Place, Everton.

Once complete, the development will be sold to Langrove Community Housing Cooperative for social rent. The first residents are expected to move in at the end of November.

James Hill, Riverside’s director of property strategy, said: “This is a great example of partnership working. We had a site that had been vacant for a number of years and Langrove were looking to increase their housing portfolio. Together we came up with a solution that works for both of us.

“Co-operative housing is not only democratic but it also fosters greater community cohesion, creating happier and more sustainable neighbourhoods which people have a stake in.”

Paul Mangan, chairman of Langrove Community Housing Cooperative, said: “We are really excited to be able to provide homes for five families who have waited a long time for this.

“Co-ops benefits local people because it empowers residents to manage their own homes and take ownership of their own neighbourhoods. There are tough times ahead and housing co-ops are the way forward because they are self-sufficient.”

Veterans service wins housing award

A social landlord has won an award for its housing and support service which helps homeless veterans.

Riverside ECHG was named specialist landlord of the year at the UK Housing Awards for its Single Persons Accommodation Centre for the Ex-Services (Spaces).

Spaces, based at Catterick in North Yorkshire, helps find suitable housing for vulnerable ex-servicemen and women who are at risk of homelessness.

Riverside ECHG has supported more than 10,500 veterans since joining forces with the Ministry of Defence 13 years ago.

Spaces now provides the foundation of a national network of support run by Riverside.

The service is run by Riverside manager Trevor Morris, himself an ex-serviceman.

Mr Morris said: “Prior to Spaces when I first started working in the homelessness sector I could see that there were a lot of veterans in the mainstream hostels I worked in and I knew that these guys needed targeted support.

“Through the MoD’s Joint Services Housing Advice Office head at the time, a forward-thinking man called Bob Cribb, we found someone who shared our views and that led to the instigation of Spaces. Needless to say I am delighted that our work and partnership has been nationally recognised.”

£10 million charity bond launched

Golden Lane Housing (GLH), the housing arm of Mencap, has launched a £10 million charity bond which will raise money to buy homes for people with a learning disability. The GLH Bond will be the UK’s largest ever charity bond isue of its kind.

The UK’s largest ever unlisted charity bond will buy houses for people with a learning disability

The UK’s largest ever unlisted charity bond will buy houses for people with a learning disability

Working in partnership with Triodos Bank, the UK’s leading sustainable bank, the charity is aiming to raise £10 million from a wide range of social investors before the closing date of 30 April 2013. Investors in the bond, which has a minimum investment level of £2,000 per investor, will receive a fixed gross yield of 4% per annum for the five year fixed term.

GLH sees this bond issue as the first step in raising up to £30 million over the next few years, which will mean that, in total, investors will give 250 people with a learning disability the chance to live independently in specially adapted homes.

Just one in three people with a learning disability currently lives independently and many struggle to compete on the open market, making it virtually impossible to find housing in areas where there is no suitable social housing available. Recent Mencap research found that eight in ten councils in England and Wales report a housing shortage for adults with a learning disability in their areas, with nearly seventy percent stating this has worsened in the last 12 months.

Jan Tregelles, Acting Chief Executive of Mencap, said: “There is a severe housing shortage for people with a learning disability. Following the abuse scandal at Winterbourne View, demand for housing is set to grow further because the Government has committed to return many of the 3,000 people currently in long stay hospitals to their local communities.

“Investors in this bond have the chance to transform the lives of people with a learning disability by helping them to live the lives they choose in quality permanent homes.”

For more information and to apply for a bond click here.

Weekly shop would cost over £450 if food had risen as fast as house prices

The average family’s weekly shop would cost £453 if food had risen in line with house prices over the last 40 years, says Shelter.

To highligshelter-whiteht the extent of the UK’s dysfunctional housing market, the charity analysed the cost of a typical weekly shop for a family of four based on house price inflation since 1971.

At that time the weekly shop cost £10.40, and the average home £5,632. By 2011 the price of the average home had shot up to £245,319 – over 43 times more expensive. This puts the average weekly shop at £453.23.

Applying the same rate of inflation to everyday food items reveals that:
• a 4-pint carton of milk would cost £10.45
• a chicken would cost £51.18
• a bunch of 6 bananas would cost £8.47
• a box of 6 eggs would cost £5.01
• a loaf of sliced white bread would cost £4.36
• a leg of lamb would cost £53.18

Shelter is warning that home ownership is becoming unaffordable for millions of young people and families who, despite working hard and saving up, still can’t get their foot on the ladder.

Shelter’s chief executive Campbell Robb said: “The high cost of food is already a real concern for people, so if prices reached these levels there’s no way we’d accept it. Yet when it comes to the huge rise in the cost of buying a home over the past few decades, somehow this is seen as normal – even welcome – despite the impact it’s having on a generation desperate for a home of their own.

“With more young people and families priced out, home ownership is already starting to fall, which in turn is driving up the cost of renting. Unless something changes, the next generation will find it even tougher to get a stable and affordable home.”

Shelter is a charity that works to alleviate the distress caused by homelessness and bad housing. It does this by giving advice, information and advocacy to people in housing need, and by campaigning for lasting political change to end the housing crisis for good.