News bites 3 February 2017

Welcome to News Bites, a new feature designed to keep you up to date with the week's most important news from the housing sector and beyond. Please send any news items you spot, comments or feedback to

Nhf home truths report paints stark picture

The NHF's Home Truths reports, nine short overviews of the housing market in every region across England, shows the complicated interplay between affordability, jobs, deprivation and supply.

In the East Midlands, house prices have increased by 12% since 2008 while the average salary is £25,500 and the income required for an 80% mortgage stands at £43,000. Crucially, there is a housing shortfall of 28,679 homes over the last five years.

More public support for building - report

Public support for housebuilding has nearly doubled in England since 2010, with particularly strong backing for affordable new homes, according to a research report published today.

The British Social Attitudes survey, carried out by social research institute NatCen Social Research on behalf of the National Housing Federation, found that 57% of people were in favour of building new homes in their local area in 2016, up from 29% in 2010.

And nearly three in four respondents to the survey (73%) indicated they were open to housebuilding if the new homes are affordable for people on average local incomes.

Javid drops white paper house-building hint

Sajid Javid dropped a huge hint that councils would get the chance to build again in the Housing White Paper, 24Housing reports.

The hotly anticipated document, which has been delayed numerous times, is going to be “a whole new mindset” according to Javid.

“The white paper will set out serious, lasting, long-term reforms that will boost housing supply immediately and for many years to come," Javid said at a Local Goverment Association event.

“A whole new attitude to house building at all levels – in central government, in the building industry and, yes, in local government too.

“Make no mistake, you will have a huge role to play in the future of house building.”

Data protection guide for social housing landlords

HouseMark has partnered with Anthony Collins Solicitors to jointly publish a comprehensive guide to data protection and privacy, designed specifically for the sector.

The guide, titled Transparency and Trust: A guide to data protection and privacy for social landlords and tenants has been launched at the first of many events aimed at explaining the roles, responsibilities and legal and regulatory obligations aligned to collecting, using and storing personal data in the social housing sector.

The guide will support landlords to:

  • Achieve legal and regulatory compliance
  • Examine the ethical issues surrounding data privacy
  • Realise the business benefits to be gained by building trust with tenants through the adoption of a fair and transparent approach to the collection and use of their data.
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