Housing and planning

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  • The Building Safety Bill

    This briefing updates members on the progress, content and policy implications of the Building Safety Bill, an important part of the legislative response to the Grenfell fire.

  • Local Government and Net Zero

    This briefing outlines the key findings and policy implications of the National Audit Office’s recent value for money report on achieving net zero.

  • The Social Housing White Paper

    Overview

    The long delayed Social Housing White Paper was published on 17 November 2020 and is part of government’s response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy. It maps out the future for social housing regulation and is predominantly focussed on consumer protection and redress. While the paper’s promised regulatory reform has been broadly well received, it does not offer a vision of what a modern social housing infrastructure should look like, nor does it address the biggest challenge in social housing; a chronic undersupply of social homes.

    Key points

  • The Social Housing White Paper

    Overview

    The long delayed Social Housing White Paper was published on 17 November 2020 and is part of government’s response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy. It maps out the future for social housing regulation and is predominantly focussed on consumer protection and redress. While the paper’s promised regulatory reform has been broadly well received, it does not offer a vision of what a modern social housing infrastructure should look like, nor does it address the biggest challenge in social housing; a chronic undersupply of social homes.

    Key points

  • Planning for the Future

    Introduction

    In August 2020, the government published its White Paper ‘Planning for the Future’ which proposes radical reforms to town planning in England, replacing the existing system introduced in 1947. The government consultation ran for 12 weeks, closing on 29 October 2020.

    Overview

    The White Paper proposes radical reforms to town planning in England with the stated aim to:

  • The Welfare Impacts of Covid-19

    This briefing analyses the impact of Covid-19 and its wider economic consequences on the welfare system in London.

  • Welfare Response to COVID-19

    This briefing summarises recent changes to the welfare system as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

    Overview 

    The government has made a range of changes to the welfare system to ensure that those affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency, either through direct contraction of the virus or loss of employment/reduced working hours, receive the necessary support.

  • Short-Term Lets in London

    The current regulatory environment does not provide local authorities with the powers they need to enforce against breaches of short-term letting rules. This briefing examines the challenges resulting from the rapid and uncontrolled growth of short-term letting in London and sets out the key points in London Councils’ response.

  • Podcast: Let's talk about homelessness services

    London has the highest homelessness rates in the country. The costs of handling a homelessness case in London are at least double the cost for England as a whole. Recent research carried out by LSE London on behalf of London Councils and the London Housing Directors’ Group looks at the implications for boroughs’ homelessness services
     
  • The Cost of Homelessness Services in London

    This briefing examines the funding required by London boroughs to provide homelessness services under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017

  • Building a Safer Future

    As part of its plans on the recommendations of Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent review, the government recently consulted on proposals to reform the building regulatory system. This briefing gives members an overview 

  • Private sector housing affordability for benefit claimants in London

    This briefing examines the impact of changes to Local Housing Allowance on the affordability of London’s private sector housing using new analysis undertaken by London Councils of Valuation Office Agency data.

  • NHS estates devolution – Towards the first pan London estates strategy

    London has some of the world’s most advanced health and care facilities, but at the same time, many health and care buildings are in need of repair 

  • Cultural Cities Enquiry: Enriching UK Cities through Smart Investment in Culture

    The final report by Cultural Cities Enquiry considers how investment in culture can be used to best effect and considers alternative models for channelling resources into culture.

  • Healthy Streets for London

    The Mayor of London’s Healthy Streets for London plan can play a significant role in the health of Londoners. This member briefing looks at some of the detail 

     

  • Removing the Housing Revenue Account Borrowing Cap

    The government’s decision to lift the borrowing cap on councils’ Housing Revenue Accounts was a welcome move for councils but it is only piece of a complex picture.

  • Revised National Planning Policy Framework

    This briefing alerts members to key changes in planning policy following publication of the revised NPPF this summer.

  • The Social Housing Green Paper

    The briefing summarises and comments on the government’s proposals for a ‘new deal for social housing’ as set out in its recent green paper.

  • The Hackitt Review Final Report: Building a Safer Future

    The briefing alerts members to the final report of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety established in the wake of the tragedy at Grenfell Tower

  • Housing and Planning in London

    This briefing highlights key policy areas for the Housing and Planning portfolio, and gives members a brief overview of our key lobbying objectives for each.

  • Draft London Plan

    Updates members on the latest iteration of the London Plan

  • No Recourse to Public Funds

    This briefing sets out the key findings from London Councils’ research into the impact on boroughs’ finances of providing statutory support to people with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF).

  • Changes to Local Housing Allowance rates for 2018/19

    This briefing explains important changes to Local Housing Allowance rates for 2018/19, including the first increase in the LHA caps since 2015, and what this means for London local authorities.

  • Future of Supported Housing Funding

    This briefing explains the government’s proposals for the future of supported housing funding and outlines potential issues for local government.

  • Dame Judith Hackitt’s Interim Report on the Review of Building Regulations

    In August 2017 Dame Judith Hackitt was appointed by the government to review the UK’s building regulations and fire safety following the fire at Grenfell tower a month earlier, in which 71 people died.

  • London Ventures Targets Homelessness

    London Ventures recently began work on the development of four projects that will help boroughs tackle some of the housing, homelessness and temporary accommodation issues facing London.

  • Autumn Budget Representation

    The government will publish its Autumn Budget on Wednesday 22 November 2017. This briefing summarises the evidence, argument and proposals from our representation.

  • GLA Affordable Housing and Viability Supplementary Planning Guidance

    This briefing updates members on the contents of the GLA’s new affordable housing and viability supplementary planning guidance (SPG), published on 16 August 2017. London Councils previously responded to the consultation on the draft SPG earlier in the year and sought to influence the shape of the guidance in the interests of London’s boroughs. This briefing provides an overview of the published SPG with brief analysis of key policies.

  • Discretionary Housing Payments funding 2017/18

    The national Discretionary Housing Payments budget increases by £35 million this financial year (2017/18). However, a change to the distribution methodology and the wider effects of more recent welfare changes will mean that some boroughs, particularly in inner-London, will receive less funding. 

  • Supported Housing Consultation

    Supported housing plays a crucial role in assisting Londoners with wide-ranging and often complex personal and care needs, including mental health support, shelter for the homeless, elderly care and refuge for survivors of domestic violence. In November 2016 the government launched a consultation on the future of the sector, which closed on 13 February 2017, and is likely to have significant long-term implications for the sector. This briefing paper highlights the changes that the government consulted on, as well as the top lines included in our response.

  • Housing and Planning White Paper

    The government published its housing white paper, ‘Fixing our broken housing market’ on 7 February. This briefing provides members with our early analysis of the aims and measures set out in the white paper

  • Homelessness Reduction Bill

    This briefing sets out the key provisions contained in the Bill (as it currently stands) and outlines a number of concerns being expressed by London Councils.

     

     

  • Tackling Wayleaves: Speeding up Business Digital Connections

    London may be the capital of the UK but the city still suffers from poor digital connectivity in some areas

     

     

  • Benefit Cap Update

    This paper outlines the likely impacts of benefit cap changes in Greater London and measures boroughs can take to manage some of these impacts.

  • Neighbourhood Planning Bill

    This briefing updates members on the contents of the Neighbourhood Planning Bill, which had its second reading in Parliament on 10 October 2016.

  • Ending Violence Against Women and Girls: Strategy 2016-2020

    This briefing explores the implications of the government’s refreshed Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy for London

  • Housing and Planning Act

    Throughout the Housing and Planning Bill, London Councils actively sought to influence the shape of the legislation in the interests of London boroughs.

  • Temporary Accommodation Costs in London

    London Councils commissioned an independent report to look at providing temporary accommodation (TA). This member briefing summarises aspects of the report

  • Consultation on Proposed Changes to the National Planning Policy Framework

    Briefing updates members on London Councils' response to the government’s proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework and its implications for London.

  • Discretionary Housing Payment Funding

    This briefing updates members on the government’s allocation of discretionary housing payment funding for 2016/17 and London Councils’ efforts to ensure London boroughs’ unique circumstances are recognised.

  • Starter Homes

    This briefing updates members on the key implications, challenges and potential risks the Starter Homes policy may pose in London.

  • Mandatory Rents for High Income Social Tenants

    This member briefing sets out the Pay to Stay policy approach in more detail and seeks to explore the potential impact of the policy in London.

  • Managing Highways Obstructions on London's Streets

    Produced with London TravelWatch, this briefing details the issues and legal position of highways obstructions. 

  • Local Authority Housing Delivery

    There is a wide consensus around the urgent need to increase the supply of new housing in London. This briefing highlights some of the innovative ways boroughs are supporting the delivery of new homes

  • London’s Homelessness Challenge

    This briefing examines some of the current issues facing boroughs in relation to homelessness

  • The Impact of Recent Government Housing Policies in London

    Read how the summer budget affects housing policy.  

  • Budget: Welfare Savings

    Analysis of the implications of Summer Budget for London boroughs and a summary of the measures designed to make savings to the welfare bill

  • Discretionary Housing Payment Expenditure

    This briefing analyses Discretionary Housing Payment figures in detail and examines the overall trends in the context of further welfare reforms. 

  • Right to Buy and Council Home Sales

    The Housing Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech and expected to be introduced to Parliament this year. This briefing updates members on the key issues, challenges and risks this may pose in London.

  • New Letting Arrangements for Pan London Mobility

    This briefing provides members with information on the policy to extend the existing Housing Moves pan-London allocations mechanism to a proportion of new affordable homes delivered under the Mayor’s programme 2015-18.

    Policy 28 of the Mayor’s London Housing Strategy, published last year, set out the Mayor’s proposal to implement a ‘top slice’ of a proportion of new build affordable rented homes to allocate to existing social tenants who wish to move to a different part of London.