Archive for March, 2013

Another project I was working on at Inside Housing, but which has only been published this week. A survey and analysis of 73 housing associations, councils, and a handful of ALMOs (Arms-length Management Organisations) on the impact of the Bedroom Tax (aka the under-occupancy penalty).

Check out the full story here: Tenants choose to stay and pay Bedroom Tax.

A week at Inside Housing

Posted: March 24, 2013 in articles
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Last week I did a work experience placement at Inside Housing magazine, a trade mag mainly aimed at social housing professionals. It was a week dominated by the Bedroom Tax and the Budget, and a great place to work at.

Here’s a selection of  articles with bylines from the week:

Tory council to force 21-year-olds to share rooms – where digging into the background papers to a press release really came in handy.

Bedroom tax faces second legal challenge – a good story we were first to report on.

Landlord apologises for ‘patronising’ welfare advice

Scottish landlord signs deal with north east group

Universal credit threatens eviction amnesty

HCA staff strike over pay offer

Developers pledge to build more homes 


Landlord Law Conference 2013

Posted: March 17, 2013 in articles
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Tessa Shepperson and the folk at Landlord Law and EasyLaw Training put on a conference this week to provide an overview of housing law for landlords. I provided the live blog, which you can see here. Particularly interesting for me was learning about the differences between tenancies and licenses – something which came up a lot when I was researching my post on property guardians.

For four years I was a City Councillor, serving on the opposition benches under an incredibly frustrating Cabinet system. Here’s an article I written for the Guardian on councils abandoning the ‘Cabinet system’ and returning to the ‘Committee System’.

“Committees are back in local government. Despite the idea once being derided for creating camels instead of horses, a small but influential group of councils are returning once again – under the powers of the Localism Act – to the system of collective decision making by an appointed group.” Read more here. 

I wrote this short post after seeing a 500% interest advert is the window of a payday lenders in Hackney a while back. A vibrant community finance movement could help tackle the problems caused by high-interest loans peddled to the most vulnerable.

“In 1966 the film Cathy Come Home depicted the struggle of a once happy family thrown into poverty and misery after father and husband Reg is injured and loses his job.” Read more

A blog post for the excellent Landlord Law Blog run by Tessa Shepperson on Property Guardians and why I think they’re problematic.

“Over the past couple of years a clutch of feature articles and comment pieces have lauded the concept of Property Guardians.

These are people who register with an agency who manage empty property (for example, which is due to be converted or knocked down).”  Read more