Estate Regeneration Funding Announced

More than 40 housing estates across the North are set to benefit from a significant investment from the £32 million pound Estate Regeneration Fund to help kick-start their regeneration. The funding awards for northern registered providers, which account for 42% of all the bids, represent a significant investment in regeneration in the North of England and echoes conclusions made by the Commission for Housing in the North of a need to prioritise regeneration in the North.

Northern registered providers benefiting from the fund include Thirteen who were successful in bidding for funds to regenerate four estates and South Liverpool Homes who won funding to regenerate the South Parade estate. Successful local authorities include Gateshead Council, City of York Council and High Peak Borough Council with awards of £373,000, £260,000 and £80,000 respectively.

In a statement, DCLG notes that the funding “would help speed up regenerations schemes in early stages” and will help “to provide thousands of new homes from the carefully planned redesign of estates”.

In addition to the £32 million released, £140 million in loan funding is available between 2017 and 2020 to encourage investment in regeneration from the private sector to help build places that work for everyone. The £140 million loan fund was initially announced last year, and is designed to cover costs such as land assembly, leaseholder buy-outs, re-housing costs, demolition, and preparatory construction works.

Jo Boaden, Chief Executive of the Northern Housing Consortium said “the announcement of new funding for estate regeneration in the North is good news and I am particularly pleased to see a high number of northern housing associations and local authorities awarded funding to begin work improving communities and regenerating estates”.

“Regeneration remains a key issue for the North of England and it is something that is essential to growing housing markets in the northern regions. This was something that was born out in the NHC’s recent Commission for Housing in the North report which we hope to expand on in the coming months.”

A full list of those bids receiving funding can be found here.

NHC Releases Budget 2017 On-the-Day Briefing

With the recent publication of the Housing White Paper, the Budget was slim on changes to housing policy. That said, Phillip Hammond’s first – and last – Spring Budget contained significant new commitments including £2bn for social care over the next three years, changes in National Insurance Contributions for the self-employed, and new initiatives on education and skills.

Read the NHC’s full on-the-day briefing here.

The Chancellor’s announcement that Government will press ahead with recommendations made by Lord Sainsbury on T Levels represents a huge change in government policy on education and skills. This, combined with the Government’s drive to increase apprenticeships, represents a new and growing focus.

One of the biggest takeaways from the Budget is that the Government are prioritising White and Green Papers on issues including social care, consumer rights and tax simplification. This would suggest a blockbuster Autumn Budget 2017 for which, naturally, the NHC will be preparing an on-the-day briefing.

NHC Publishes Third Universal Credit Impact Report

Today sees the release of the Northern Housing Consortium’s Impact of Universal Credit Round 3 report. This is the third in a series of four reports and builds upon the results of the first two, covering the period March-July (all three of which can be accessed from the NHC’s website here). The research investigates how the implementation and continuing rollout of Universal Credit is affecting housing organisations in the north.

We are now able to collect trend data and comparisons are made in this latest report with the findings of the previous reports. The latest report also draws comparisons between the full survey results with the returned data from North West respondents to ascertain whether having worked with the Universal Credit system longer has an effect on respondents’ experiences of the system. Some of the key findings from the Round 3 report are:

  • More than one-fifth of respondents said that tenants had terminated their own tenancy as a direct as a direct result of UC.
  • Almost all of the responding organisations are having to step in and assist tenants with the cost of living.
  • Half of organisations have introduced credit reference checks to prospective tenants as a result of UC implementation – double the figure in Round 2.
  • There is a move to debiting tenants’ rent accounts in arrears as 90.6% of those that debit accounts in advance have experienced problems.

We continue to use findings from the research to engage with the Department of Work and Pensions officials through NHC’s roundtable programme to raise members’ concerns and experiences of procedural issues and we will work with DWP to make the new system as smooth as possible.

The final round of the survey will be announced in the NHC eZine but there is also a dedicated contact list for anyone interested in taking part in the project. To ensure you are able to participate, please contact Business Intelligence Officer Barry Turnbull at