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partnership solutions that can help them
deal with these problems.
“Larger providers have bought land and
developed housing that they cannot sell
and need to make write-downs on their
balance sheets. Marketing and selling
property is a good example of providers
working in an area requiring expertise that
they do not have.”
Technology issues
The creation of mixed tenure schemes and
new affordable housing products is one It’s all very well acquiring land and building homes, but it takes expertise to sell them
thing, the technology to manage them is
another – and it is a real issue. As new entrants struggle to sell software current and future issues mentioned above.
There are currently around ten suppliers solutions within a restrictive procurement He believes that, “The shift in focus to the
of housing management systems, and regime the housing providers are left tenant relationship (in response to the new
according to a recent report by Tribal, the waiting for the incumbent suppliers of regulatory regime of the Tenant Services
leading industry consultants, most are housing management systems to deliver Agency) will require providers to look
failing to meet the changing needs of their the web capabilities they require gradually again at the way they deliver services to
customers. Tribal have told us, “the choice over the next five years (most suppliers will their tenant customers. The way their
of systems available to landlords are from rewrite their applications). remote and neighbourhood activities are
a different era when landlords managed Philip and his team at Pex Software are carried out, service and call centres are
properties, whereas now the focus is on working in partnership with BT to help operated and the organisation’s
delivering services to people.’’ ** see note. housing providers to deal with some of the performance is managed and governed.
the right to buy – a revolution in housing in the uK
33 per cent discount on the market value Critics have accused the Government
of their home, increasing in stages up to of being too generous to council house
50 per cent for a tenancy of 20 years. tenants but the Prime Minister, Margaret
The Government believes the bill will Thatcher and her government are sure
transform the social structure of Britain the new policy will pave the way for a
for good. Michael Heseltine, Secretary of property-owning democracy and a more
State for the Environment, said, “This bill socially responsible population.
lays the foundations for one of the most Labour believe the cost to the public
important social revolutions of this purse will be at least £5,000 per sale but
century.” But Shelter, the organisation for the Conservatives maintain that central
homeless people, has said the move will and local government will save millions
increase the number of homeless people through the reduction of subsidy to
and decrease the number of homes council house tenants.”
available to accommodate them. The Housing Act came into force on
Labour are vehemently opposed to 3 October 1980. Many council tenants
the proposals believing the impact on the exercised their right-to-buy. By November
Mrs ThaTcher’s legacy nation’s pocket will be huge. Roy 1982 the Government said more than
Love her or loathe her, the Hattersley, Shadow Environment 400,000 people had bought their council
disintegration of council housing Spokesperson said: “We shall fight it very homes. The right-to-buy scheme was
started here, when Margaret Thatcher hard in the House of Commons and in subsequently extended to tenants in
carried out her election promise to the country.” As a further incentive to leasehold properties.The policy proved
offer the Right to Buy to every council prospective buyers the Government will extremely popular and was seen as a
tenant. This is how the BBC announced also offer tenants a 100 per cent major vote winner for Mrs Thatcher in
it on 20 December 1979: mortgage from the local authority. 1979 and again in 1983.
Those who cannot afford to buy their In 1985 Labour dropped its official
More than five million council house home immediately will be able to pay a opposition to the scheme. By 2003 it was
tenants in Britain will be given the £100 deposit and postpone the sale for estimated some 1.5 million council homes
right to buy their home under new two years at which time they will be able had been sold.
government proposals. to purchase their home at today’s prices. However, the scheme contributed to
The Housing Bill published today If local authorities do not comply with a reduction in the number of available
will give tenants who have lived in the new legislation the Secretary of State council homes and there is now a
their home for up to three years a will directly intervene in the sale. shortage of social housing across the UK.
18 OCTOBER 2009 ProPerTYdrum
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