SUMMARY OF THE LATEST NEWS ITEMS
This Homes for Wales Bulletin is the latest in a series of action by the Welsh Government to improving housing, people’s lives and communities. Health, well-being, education, jobs and local communities are all aspects of life that are affected by the homes in which people live. It is vital that everyone has a decent place to live. In partnership with many other organisations, the Welsh Government is taking action to make a difference to people’s lives. Click here to view bulletin
Have you ever borrowed money?
The Young Federation are carrying out a project in Wales to find out more about the experience people have. Gift vouchers will be issued to selected participants. Read full article
The National Assembly, Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee chair Christine Chapman AM whose committee will scrutinize the bill, organised a series of round table discussions with tenants from all the primary markets impacted by the Renting (Homes) Wales bill. Read full article
The Housing (Wales) Act 2014 which received Royal Assent on 17 Sept 2014 gives Local Authorities the discretion to charge Council Tax premiums on long-term empty homes and second homes in Wales. Read full article
Welsh Tenants were pleased to be a partner in the calls for better electrical safety in rented homes in Wales, with an introduction of a 5 year electrical safety test. Read full article
Welsh Tenants welcomes the news by the Gas Industry Safety Group (GISG) (11 March 2015) that Communities Minister Penny Mordaunt announced that it is now mandatory for private landlords to install smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in rented properties in England. Read full article
Enforced SAR Charges confirmed
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is set to bring into force section 56 of the DPA, covering enforced subject access requests, on 10 March 2015. Read full article
Welsh Government task and finish group published its report today Direct payments of Housing Benefit in the social Rented Sector and Sustainable Tenancies that looked into how the sector can better support people and to mitigate the impacts of welfare reform. Read full article
Renting Homes Introduction
Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty has introduced the Renting Homes (Wales) bill into the National Assembly on the 9th February 2015. The bill is the culmination of many years work to simplify housing law in Wales. Read full article
Due to the significant rise in the occurrence of mould growth, condensation and other issues in properties that appear to have received insulation in the past 15 years, Wales Zero Carbon hub has commissioned Building Research Excellence (BRE) to undertake research. Read full article
Lesley Griffiths Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, who also has the housing brief, has announced consultation on the potential ending of Right to buy (RTB) and Right to Acquire (RTA) in Wales, if the electorate chooses the Labour Party to be the next government from May 2016, although presumably, will provide the evidence base to commit any party elected thereafter to the change. The consultation will run from 22nd January 2015 – 16th April 2015. Read full article
The publication by the Auditor General for Wales of research relating to the management of welfare reform in Wales provides predictably sober reading. Read full article
The Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2013 came into force earlier this year (2014) along with it a new provision disappointingly labelled ‘the community trigger’. We certainly prefer the term ‘community remedy’, and although the term is used by some forces the measure is collectively referred to as the community trigger or CT. Read full article
Over the years women have played a key and influential role in our organisation. But we can do more to ensure that women continue to be heard. In this regard we wholly endorse the 50:50 by 2020 campaign. Read full article..
Winter is that time of year when as a community we should be watching gout for one another. Thousands of people succumb to cold winters particularly the elderly, people in ill health and the vulnerable. Thankfully, around 1.4 million pensioners will qualify for the discount this year, the vast majority of pensioners on Pension Credit will not have to do anything as they will receive a £140 discount automatically. Read full article..
Have you experienced problems with housing New laws will shortly be considered in Wales to better protect tenants and enable them to understand their rights and obligations. Read full article
News that TAROE (Tenants And Residents Association of England) returned a £30,000 loss in their annual accounts for 2013-14 with just £5,500 income is worrying not just for England’ tenants. The implications of the government decision to withdraw funding is sure to have resonance for tenant representation here in Wales. Read full article
Attempts to curb unreasonable use of section 21 Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather made a valiant attempt to introduce a private members bill that sought to provide a defence for tenants who are victims of retaliatory evictions. Read full article…
The Chancellors has now presented his Autumn statement to Parliament please click here for the summary of what was announced with various links
The UK government has introduced radically new provisions to check the immigration status of prospective tenants. The new provisions are contained in Part 3 of the Immigration Act 2014 which received Royal assent on the 14th May 2014. Read full article
Energy Saving Trust Advice Centre Wales
The Renewable Heat Incentive is a scheme that pays participants to heat their homes with renewables. Did you know that on average 75% of household energy bills are as a result of heating & hot water. Read full article
Hello fellow tenants. It’s that time of year when things can turn quickly from a season of joy to a time of great distress. Making sure your home is safe is something every tenant should consider. Read full article for safety tips.
More than 2,000 people have been on a housing waiting list for more than a decade, according to research by the Welsh Liberal Democrats. The party claims nearly 9,000 people have been waiting for more than five years for a home. Cardiff Council had the highest number of people waiting for at least half a decade (1,297) while Caerphilly had the most waiting more than 10 years (375). Read full article
Affordable rent supply overtakes social rent
The number of affordable rent homes built in the last financial year exceeded the number of social rent homes for the first time, statistics released today show. Read article
There is a presumption that any renewals undertaken by tenants are an ‘improvement’, but that’s not necessarily always the case. What is seen as a renewal by the tenant, can in fact be a demotion of a standard, that’s why in tenancy terms there is a standard clause contained in contracts that requires the consent of landlords before making an improvement or altering fixtures in a property. Read full article
How a Council is ‘Making welfare work – locally’
Many local authorities in Wales are working hard to help mitigate the impact of welfare reforms. Clearly proactive work is helping to understand the impacts and help tenants to cope with the changes. View full article
Valleys to Coast Housing Association supported by partners, have informed their tenants they can appeal the bedroom tax in a new leaflet that explains that even if you have been awarded Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) you may still be able to appeal bedroom tax decision, read full article
Welsh Tenants have been informed that due to concerns raised about work related conditions for JSA claimants who are homeless the Department for Work and Pensions are introducing ‘easements’ from Monday 21 July 2014. View full article
The charter is aimed at social landlords seeking to involve their tenants in monitoring not just the bricks and mortar of WHGS planning and delivery but also services.
A helpful tool has been developed with the support of Caerphilly Tenants Information Exchange, Caerphilly CBC and APA Ltd together with the Welsh Tenants and funded by the Tenant Empowerment Grant scheme: click here to download charter