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Housing Association latest news and information.

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Fire door keep shut image

This highlights broader potential failings within the industry and the Government is taking immediate action to address this.

MHCLG began investigating the fire door industry after it was found that a glazed, composite fire door from Grenfell Tower manufactured by Manse Masterdor failed a 30 minute fire resistance test after approximately 15 minutes. Issues were subsequently identified with doors produced by Masterdor Limited (the successor business to Manse Masterdor). Investigations have continued and in the last few days doors from 3 additional manufacturers have failed fire resistance testing when tested on both sides.

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No sign of Brexit nerves in construction

Construction SMEs enjoyed rising workloads in the second quarter of 2018, despite continuing concerns over skills shortages and increasing costs, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Key results from the FMB’s latest State of Trade Survey, which is the only quarterly assessment of the UK-wide SME construction sector, include:

  • Construction SME workloads remained positive in Q2 2018 and grew at a faster rate than they did in the first quarter of 2018;
  • The construction SME sector has now enjoyed more than five years of consecutive quarterly growth;
  • More than three-quarters (76%) of builders reported increasing material prices in Q2 2018;
  • Two-thirds (65%) of construction SMEs are struggling to hire bricklayers and 60% are struggling to hire carpenters and joiners;
  • More than half (54%) of construction SMEs expect salaries and wages to increase over the next six months.
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Chance to solve rural housing crisis ‘severely limited’ by changes to planning rules

Rural landowners have warned that the lack of flexibility in new planning rules which prevent a mix of affordable and market homes from being built on special sites in the countryside will severely limit the chances of solving the rural housing crisis. 

The Government has published a revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which claims to help build more homes, more quickly in places where people want to live. But according to the CLA which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, changes made to the criteria for Entry Level Exception Sites will now encourage less land being made available for much needed homes in the countryside.

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Increase in house building delivers huge boost to UK economy

Industry now generating £38bn a year and supporting 700k jobs.

The 74% increase in house building activity in the past four years has provided a huge boost to the UK economy. Research in a new report by planning and development consultancy Lichfields shows that the house building industry in England and Wales is now worth £38bn a year and supports nearly 700,000 jobs. House building activity contributes economically in different ways including providing jobs, tax revenues and contributing funding for local infrastructure and communities. And with Government targeting further increases in supply, the knock-on benefits are set to increase still further.

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Over half of homeless families in England are in work, shocking new figures show

55% of homeless families trapped in temporary accommodation are actually working, according to new research released by Shelter’s social housing commission.

Based on freedom of information requests, the exclusive analysis shows that more than 33,000 families are holding down a job, despite having nowhere stable to live. This has increased by 73% since 2013, when it was 19,000 families.

This trend in ‘working homelessness’ is being driven by a combination of expensive private rents, the ongoing freeze on housing benefit, and a chronic lack of social homes.

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New funding for innovative projects to build stronger communities

A new £7 million fund to support trailblazing approaches to building more integrated communities in England was launched this week by Secretary of State for Communities Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP.

The Integrated Communities Innovation Fund will help drive forward the proposals to tackle the key causes of poor integration set out in the government’s Integrated Communities Strategy green paper launched in March 2018.

The Secretary of State launched the fund while giving evidence to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee at Parliament at a session outlining his priorities as the Secretary of State for Communities.

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ANOTHER new Housing Minister – industry response

Kit Malthouse has been named as the eighth Housing Minister since 2010 after Dominic Rabb was announced as the new Brexit secretary yesterday.

Commenting on the announcement that Kit Malthouse MP is the new Housing Minister, Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said “Another week, another Housing Minister. The industry has long bemoaned the turnstile approach to this crucial role but the pace of change is quickening.  We’re now going through two Housing Ministers a year. Dominic Raab, Kit Malthouse’s predecessor, was only in post for a mere six months and before that, Alok Sharma was in the position for just seven months. The Government claims that housing is a priority yet this constant chopping and changing in terms of the person leading the charge would suggest otherwise.”

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