The Guardian newspaper has published an interesting report about self-help housing, pointing out its usefulness and its relevance for the "Big Society". It features some interesting schemes and self-help organisations and makes the point that more support is needed for this sectorf.
In an announcement by Grant Shapps, the government is now actively floating its plans to help communities acquire surplus publicly-owned land and buildings. The story can be found here. As a start, the HCA surplus property portfoliio has been published. Details from other public agencies will follow in due course.
You might be interested to know how other organisations have responded to the New Homes Bonus proposals. Alll are broadly in favour of extending them to empty homes with more or less enthusiasm.
There was a surprise story featuring Andrew Stunell released on the CLG website at some point on Monday 10th January, entitled "New incentives to tackle the blight of empty homes". This describes the New Homes Bonus and encourages people to report empties to their council so the council can take action.
Local Sustainable Homes: How to Make Them Happen in Your Community, by Chris Bird
Transition Books (2010) £14.95, paperback, 240pp, ISBN 978 1 900322 768; Kindle edition also available.
(This review is also available in PDF format - see attachment at end of review)
The localist road to sustainability
If you want to know what localism might look like translated into actual housing projects, then this book gives you all the practical examples you could possibly hope for.
Please note that the latest second version was loaded at 9.00 a.m. Thursday 25th Novermber. The text is substantially the same but the responses have been re-organised. The Question numbering has been reviised. A missing Question 13 has been added and text moved there from Question 4.
The latest government consultation on the future of social housing has just been published. Entitled Local decisions: a fairer future for social housing it lays out significant changes in the forms of social tenancy that will be available, confirms the intention to focus on the development of intermediate rented housing, outlines the reform to the Housing Revenue Account...and more.
A recent blog post from the Hasledon and Hyndburn Labour MP Graham Jones indicates that there will be consultation on including empty homes in the New Homes bonus. He also suggests there will be consultation the £100million for empty homes. Good news - but let's not forget the consultation on including empty homes in the new homes reward element of Housing and Planning Delivery Grant. Jones predicted the consultation would be published last Friday (5th November).