Building Better

Building Better, supported by the National Housing Federation, is a strategic alliance of housing associations working together to realise the benefits of offsite manufacture.

One of the initiatives that came out of our Creating our Future programme, now called Housing Futures, Building Better is focused on how we can develop offsite solutions that work for the affordable housing sector to help us to:

  • Build more efficiently
  • Achieve better quality
  • Reduce long-term costs
  • Increase resident satisfaction
  • Reduce CO2 emissions

The ambition

Our ambition is to use the sector’s collective purchasing power to buy homes from the best offsite manufacturers at a price that works for housing associations. This will benefit the sector in three ways:

Helping housing associations build more homes

Our target is to complete homes 50% faster than with traditional building methods, starting with a pipeline of 400 homes in the first year, of which 100 will be completed within the year.

Reducing operating costs

We aim to have zero defects in our homes.  This will be an iterative process – version one of our homes will set the standard with a 50% reduction in defects compared with traditionally built homes, and will reduce with every future version.

Improving resident satisfaction levels

We aim to achieve this by:

  • Engaging with residents during the design process and building homes that genuinely meet their needs.
  • Ensuring fewer defects and repairs, meaning there will be more money to spend on bringing additional value to our residents.
  • Making the experience of living in our homes better, including introducing the use of smart technology.

The alliance

Our alliance comprises housing associations who have the vision, ambition and imagination to look beyond traditionally built homes and look for new ways to help achieve the scale and quality of the homes we need. 

Building Better enables alliance members to share our ambition, collective resources and knowledge whilst retaining individuality. Working collaboratively is the only way to share risk in return for much higher rewards, which include:

  • Building more high quality homes at the right cost point.
  • Bringing rental income in significantly earlier.
  • Developing a wide range of relationships through increased national profile.

Want to get involved?

We need ambitious housing associations to get involved and lead the step change towards modern methods of construction (MMC) in our sector.

This will be a significant shift towards better homes that are delivered faster. No one housing association can do it alone, so our sector needs to learn together and work on an approach to MMC that is right for our residents, boards, development teams and asset managers.

Building Better is your opportunity to lead and develop a collective approach to MMC. We have ten housing associations on board and are looking for more.

This project is open to all – however, it has the most to offer smaller and medium-sized housing associations who may not have the research and development budget to take on MMC pilots.

Land. We’re working with Homes England on their land programme to help housing associations secure better access to more affordable land.

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Planning. We’re working to ensure reforms to the planning system help to maximise the delivery of new affordable homes, and consulting our members on the key priority changes needed.

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Treasury in Housing 2020. London

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New Board Member Induction Briefing - Leeds. Leeds

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New building safety announcements. See the latest government building safety announcements from 2 April.

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New cladding test results. The government has published the latest results of research and tests into a range of non-aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding materials.

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Rural communities are vital – now more than ever. The response to coronavirus in rural communities has been exceptional, with residents coming together in unprecedented circumstances to help and protect each other.

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All member webinar. Update on the Federation's work to shape the political and policy developments on the key issues affecting housing associations during the coronavirus crisis.

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Our meeting with the Housing Minister and other political engagement. An update on our recent influencing work, including our roundtable with the Housing Minister and our engagement with the new Labour Shadow Cabinet.

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New survey from the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH). The regulator has published new information on their approach during the coronavirus crisis, including a new survey for registered providers.

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Supported housing response to coronavirus: briefing and case studies. This briefing is to help supported housing providers who are on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis.

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Accounting considerations for housing associations - discussion document. We’ve produced a document outlining accounting considerations for housing associations for 2019/20 year end, focusing on the impact of coronavirus on impairment reviews of social housing, and McCloud and GMP Equalisation pensions accounting.

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Managing voids and meeting need during coronavirus outbreak. We have heard from members that managing voids that occur during the outbreak is particularly challenging.

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Coronavirus – changes to the benefits system. The government has made a number of significant changes to the benefits system in order to support people’s incomes during the coronavirus crisis, and allow the DWP to focus resources on processing claims. 

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Responding to the coronavirus outbreak for smaller housing associations (webinar). In this webinar, members of the National Housing Federation policy team shared the latest information for smaller associations followed by a Q&A with attendees.

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Homelessness services. We’ve been speaking with our members to establish the impact of coronavirus on homelessness services.

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New guidance on coronavirus and renting. This new government guidance contains important advice on several key areas for housing associations, residents and local authorities. 

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Coronavirus and supported housing providers. Updates for supported housing and sheltered housing providers, on some of the specific issues they face related to coronavirus.

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Domestic abuse and coronavirus – new guidelines for keeping residents safe. Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) has created guidance for housing associations on how to provide safe responses to your tenants and service users

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Housing associations’ response to the coronavirus crisis. In these challenging times, housing associations stand united behind their residents and communities. See how we plan to do this as a sector.

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Government furlough scheme. We've produced some brief guidance for housing associations confirming that they are eligible to use the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. We have shared this with the government and are confident our interpretation is correct.

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Accessing PPE. We have raised with Government the urgency of getting supplies of PPE out to homelessness services, supported housing and care providers. 

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Webinar: Regulator of Social Housing. View our recent webinar with the Regulator of Social Housing about their response to the current crisis (member only).

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Update from the Housing Ombudsman. In light of the coronavirus outbreak, the Housing Ombudsman has issued an update for landlords that are part of the scheme. 

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Safety checks and coronavirus. The coronavirus outbreak is presenting a number of challenges for our members in terms of carrying out statutory safety checks. 

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Remediation work. The government has published new guidance on carrying out remedial works during the coronavirus outbreak. 

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Government advice on home moving during the coronavirus outbreak. The government has issued new guidance that applies to people buying or selling private residential homes which they intend to live in. We are seeking advice on whether similar guidance will be issued on void management for social housing providers.

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Update from the Regulator on coronavirus. The Regulator of Social Housing has clarified its regulatory approach in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

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Gas safety check advice. Information from the Health and Safety Executive about issues with carrying out gas safety checks due to coronavirus.

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Update on the First Homes consultation. We are continuing our work to build a response to the government’s consultation on First Homes.

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These are extraordinary times for everyone – but, together, we will pull through. I know I’ll look back and see that housing associations played a vital part in helping us pull through this national crisis.

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Budget 2020. New briefing summarising the key housing announcements by the government.

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The Coronavirus Act – details on evictions . This article summarises the impact that the Coronavirus Act and the suspension of court hearings will have on evictions.

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Pensions tax changes. The Spring Budget included some changes to pensions tax. Our pensions advisers Deloitte outline the detail behind this, the implications for pension scheme members, and what your housing association should consider.

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Pensions update – Defined Benefit Funding Code Consultation. The Pensions Regulator issued its first consultation on the new Defined Benefit Funding Code on 3 March 2020. Our pensions advisers ISIO explain the detail behind it.

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Coronavirus update – political engagement, regulation and compliance, key and essential workers and the benefit system. This update covers how we’re engaging with political stakeholders and the regulator, clarification we’re seeking on key and essential workers, and changes to the benefit system.

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Budget 2020 – a new building safety fund. Find out about the new £1bn building safety fund announced in the Spring Budget.

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Central auditor list. To help housing associations select the right internal and external auditors and ensure that the tender process is heathy and competitive, we've compiled a list of the auditors used in the sector.

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How housing associations are helping stop loan sharks. Housing associations across the country are working in partnership to identify the signs of illegal money lending activity and help tenants in the grip of loan sharks.

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LIBOR-SONIA transition. An update on the LIBOR-SONIA transition

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Briefing: Our response to coronavirus and current priorities. Housing associations are working closely with residents, local government, the NHS and others to respond to the coronavirus crisis.

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Important changes to employee legislation. The government’s Good Work Plan takes effect from 6 April 2020, and requires organisations to provide extra information in the written statements of terms it sends to employees and workers.

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Coronavirus – update on our events programme. Find out if any of our upcoming postponed events affect you.

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Coronavirus update – key workers, our political engagement, and plans for member consultation. See our latest updates.

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Coronavirus – temporary guidance on key workers. This is not official guidance, but could be useful for our members to inform their approaches until official confirmation is secured.

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Voluntary Right to Buy sales - accounting guidance. We've produced some guidance on accounting for Voluntary Right to Buy sales, in response to a number of queries we have received. 

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Support for renters. Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, said: "We welcome government's extra support for renters.

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No one should lose their home because of coronavirus.

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Responding to coronavirus (webinar). Our recent webinar talks through how housing associations can deal with coronavirus.

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Coronavirus update – supporting our members. This update outlines how we’ll support housing associations, their teams and residents during the coronavirus crisis.  

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Building a sector-standard approach to environmental, social, governance reporting. The social housing sector can establish a meaningful and consistent approach to reporting its environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance.

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An update on Making Tax Digital. Following the introduction of the government’s Making Tax Digital initiative last year, the final stage is for organisations to provide digital links and record a trail of all data changes.

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Modern Methods of Construction lending issue. Many housing associations are now considering using modern methods of construction, but some lenders are unwilling to allow properties built this way to be secured against their loans.

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Events affected by coronavirus.

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Responding to coronavirus.

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Response to Budget 2020. Today’s budget includes positive announcements for social housing.

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Influencing Academy.

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Our principles of co-creation with residents. Find out how resident feedback could and should be helping you redesign your services and customer journeys from Sovereign.

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Why we’re reviewing the Code of Governance. Paul Bayly explores why we have a Code of Governance, and why now is the right time to update it.

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Together with Tenants: the role of boards in delivering a stronger relationship between housing associations and residents (webinar). This webinar will explore the role of boards in developing a more balanced relationship between housing association and their residents.

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Coronavirus advice. We’ve collated the most relevant official advice on coronavirus for housing associations.

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Code of Governance review. Find out why, and how, we're reviewing our Code of Governance.

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Help shape homelessness policy. John Glenton outlines how the NHF Homelessness Steering Group increases our impact on preventing and tackling homelessness.

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Briefing on the review of the ban on the use of combustible materials. The government is consulting on proposals to change the requirements of building regulations relating to the use of combustible materials.

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Building safety for board members. This update for housing association board members gives an overview of the key building safety issues facing the sector.

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Our submission to the call for evidence on risk prioritisation in existing buildings. In our sector submission, we set out why we support a risk-based approach to prioritising existing buildings for remediation. 

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Housing Futures: the 'insight' phase (webinar). Led by innovation experts and open to all housing associations staff and residents, this webinar will give you a deeper understanding of the role of insight in innovation and will equip you with impactful tools to support you with this work.

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National Housing Federation launches shared ownership campaign. The National Housing Federation has launched a new national campaign to boost the public’s understanding of shared ownership on a scale that has never been done before.

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Housing sector launches UK-wide innovation programme. Hundreds of housing associations from every part of the UK have come together to launch an ambitious innovation programme to tackle the biggest challenges in housing.

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Are you ready for the Future Homes Standard? Some parts of the Future Homes Standard will come into effect as early as this year – we need to start preparing right now.

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Designing homes for diginity. Invisible Creations is challenging stereotypes and negative stigmas around ageing and disability by producing attractive and inclusive home adaptations.

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MMC are an innovation we need to embrace. John Newbury gives a boards' perspective on adopting modern methods of construction in development projects.

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First Homes briefing. This briefing summarises the government’s new First Homes policy, and outlines how you can share your views. 

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Housing Futures is entering its ‘insight’ phase – what does this mean for you? We’re looking for five people from housing associations in each region of the country to become Insight Leaders.

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Together with Tenants – getting ready for rollout. With the early adopter process drawing to a close this spring, we’re preparing to roll Together with Tenants out across the sector – and here’s how you can prepare.

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A Home for Everyone – our submission for the Budget 2020. In this Budget, the government has an opportunity to commit to the investment needed to end the housing crisis for good.

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The Future Homes Standard – our consultation response. The government has started consulting on a new Future Homes Standard. Read our response to the first of two consultations.

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New First Homes policy. Read our initial response to this consultation, and our plans to coordinate a sector-wide response.

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Credit adjustment spread methodologies - consultation response. This consultation from the Bank of England’s Risk-Free Rate Working Group focuses on credit adjustment spread methodologies for fallbacks in cash products referencing GBP LIBOR.

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First Homes. These proposals could make it more difficult for housing associations and councils to provide homes for lower income families.

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Risk prioritisation in existing buildings – a call for evidence. We want to hear your views on the government's call for evidence on risk-based prioritisation of existing buildings. 

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Board Bulletin. Sign up to our dedicated quarterly newsletter for housing association board members.

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Board member online forum. Network with board members from across the sector.

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Board member in the spotlight: Danielle Oum. In our latest board member in the spotlight feature, Danielle Oum, Chair of whg, explains what makes a great housing association chair, and why we need to foster a stronger relationship between health and housing.

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Liability insurance. NHF members get Directors’ and Officers’ liability insurance as part of their member benefits.

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Putting residents at the heart of Housing Futures. While Housing Futures will engage with housing associations and residents alike, in the East of England, our steering group is determined to put residents at the heart of the programme.

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Get involved.

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The post-Brexit Budget and housing. The Federation will be making a submission on behalf of the sector, ahead of the Budget on 11 March.

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Code of Governance review. We’re reviewing our Code of Governance. The first phase of the three-phase consultation process is now open.

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Response to the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission’s report. We welcome the publication of the Commission’s report today, which rightly highlights the need for good design and construction standards when building new homes. These are not just things that are nice to have, but essential parts of building cohesive, sustainable communities.

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Housing Futures toolkit. A toolkit to help you engage staff at your organisation and gather ideas for what they see as being the big housing challenges the sector should focus on.

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Who's signed up.

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Social Housing Pension Scheme. The SHPS Pensions Committee has published the latest SHPS valuation results and information on proposed future service benefit changes.

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Housing SORP governance. Find out more about the SORP-making process.

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Shared ownership hub. Our campaign hub contains all of the assets you need to help build awareness and understanding of shared ownership. Here are some top tips to help you get the most out of it.

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Definition for specified accommodation. Briefing to explain the definition of specified accommodation and new regulations

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Pensions guidance for housing associations. The NHF, in partnership with other sector leaders, have issued guidance to enable housing associations to defined benefit account the Social Housing Pension Scheme and the Scottish Housing Association Pension Scheme for the first time.

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How many homes did housing associations build in 2018/19? This briefing details the number of homes housing associations developed in 2018/19.

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Supply survey. We’re collecting information from housing associations on the number of homes they have started and completed.

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Planning reform consultation – NHF response. We’ve responded to questions on extending permitted development rights and amending provisions for the disposal of local authority land, raised in a government consultation on planning reforms.

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Funding and strategic partnerships. We’re working to secure the Government support and funding we need to help our members build more new homes.

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Building Better. Building Better, supported by the National Housing Federation, is a strategic alliance of housing associations working together to realise the benefits of offsite manufacture.

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Case study: Hart Homes - Watford. Watford Community Housing and Watford Borough Council have formed a joint venture called Hart Homes and are aiming to deliver more than 500 homes over six years.

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Case study: Greater Manchester Housing Providers. Greater Manchester Housing Providers has been working in a joint venture with Greater Manchester Combined Authority since 2010.

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Case study: Gateshead Regeneration Partnership. Gateshead Council, HomeGroup and Galliford formed the Gateshead Regeneration Partnership in 2012 to build homes on the council’s brownfield sites.

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Case study: Bridge Homes - Wakefield. Bridge Homes Yorkshire is a joint venture between Wakefield District Homes and Wakefield Council, formed in 2014.

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Case study: Blaby District Council and emh group. emh group and Blaby District Council have been working together in Leicestershire since 2008 to deliver more homes to the county.

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Case study: Aspect Building Communities - Eastleigh Council and VIVID. Eastleigh Borough Council and VIVID housing association are working together as Aspect, a development vehicle which plans to deliver almost 300 quality homes.

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Working in partnership. Across the country housing associations and local authorities are working together to deliver thousands of new homes and build strong communities.

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Understanding and meeting regulatory requirements (webinar). This webinar will support boards in considering and planning how their organisations can stay ahead of changes to the regulatory agenda.
 

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Brexit: latest information. This article provides an update on Brexit taking into account the changed political environment. It covers: 1. Current situation and political context.
2. Key issues facing housing associations.
3. What housing associations can do during the transition period.
4. What the Federation will do.

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Together with tenants. Meet the Tenant Advisory Panel.

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Together with tenants early adopters. We have been working with residents, tenant representative groups, our members and others to understand what practical change is needed in the relationship between housing associations and tenants.

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Shared ownership FAQs. Our shared ownership campaign is boosting the profile of this great product across the country on a scale that’s never been done before. Get your FAQs answered.

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How to sign up to our shared ownership campaign. Our shared ownership campaign is boosting the profile of this great product across the country on a scale that’s never been done before. Find out how to sign up.

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Our shared ownership campaign so far. Our shared ownership campaign is boosting the profile of this great product across the country on a scale that’s never been done before. Explore the campaign so far.

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Conservative Party manifesto. Briefing on the Conservative Party manifesto and what it means for housing associations.

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Priorities for the new government. We've produced a briefing that sets out five housing priorities for the new government.

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Welfare Reform Group. This group advises on the Federation’s priorities, influencing work and support for members on welfare reform.

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Public Affairs Network.

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Homelessness National Group. Read about our members that help shape our work to end homelessness.

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Diversity member group. This national group has been set up to collaborate with the NHF on the key issue of diversity, equality and inclusion in the housing association sector.

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Join our Delivering Great Homes national group.

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What does the new year bring for board members? NHF Chair Baroness Diana Warwick looks ahead to what 2020 might bring for housing association board members.

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Climate and sustainability. The NHF is leading a new programme of work to understand the scale of the climate and sustainability challenges facing the sector.

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Our response to today’s announcements on building safety. Housing associations have already started removing combustible cladding from buildings under the 18-metre threshold, based on a broader assessment of risk. We therefore welcome the government’s proposals to apply a risk-based approach to evaluating building safety – something which we have been calling for.

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Homelessness. Guidance for housing associations to implement the Commitment to Refer and help end homelessness.

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Our shared ownership campaign is going public. A strong new message for shared ownership forms the basis of an ambitious nationwide advertising programme.

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Speaking with one voice on shared ownership. At RHP we’ve started to use the shared ownership campaign’s eye-catching creative assets to build a powerful new brand and message.

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Introducing Thinkhouse: more than just blue sky thinking? Thinkhouse highlights the best analysis and thinking about housing to help in your board member role
 

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Housing Futures is the biggest collaborative exercise ever undertaken by our sector. We need your help to identify the big challenges we should tackle through Housing Futures.

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Brexit: an update for housing associations. Update for housing associations on preparing for Brexit.

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Supply. Survey results show the number of homes built by housing associations in quarter two 2019/20.

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Fire Kills campaign. The Home Office will launch its latest Fire Kills advertising campaign on 3 February.

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Constituency data. Prepare to meet your local MP - see what the housing crisis looks like in your area

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Housing Matters podcast: General Election 2019. National Housing Federation Chief Executive Kate Henderson talks about the result of the general election, what it means for the housing association sector.

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The Lobbying Act. Our briefing provides advice on the restrictions on campaigning and lobbying in relation to national elections.

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Grenfell Tower Inquiry. Our member briefing explains what the findings of the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry Phase 1 Report could mean for housing associations.

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Building a Safer Future – implications for development teams.

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Political engagement toolkit. Housing associations are ready to work with the new government to fix the housing crisis for good.

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Read our briefing on the new Rent Standard. Stay up to date with the changes to the Rent Standard, allowing for rent increases up to CPI+1% each year. 

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Code of Governance. We’re reviewing our Code of Governance. The first phase of the three-phase consultation process is now open.

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Reform of development corporations consultation response. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government recently consulted on reforms to development corporations.

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How we’re engaging our rural customers in Together with Tenants. Cottsway are using using a variety of methods to engage their rural customers.

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Housing associations are key to economic growth and building thriving communities. The National Housing Federation’s new publication, Homes for the Ox-Cam Arc, outlines the contribution housing associations are making to the local economy in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, and the potential that they have to help the region grow.

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DWP confirm changes to Universal Credit. DWP has confirmed that they will be testing a new system to pay social landlords direct payments. The new system will see landlords receive the housing cost element directly from the DWP at the same time that tenants receive their Universal Credit payments.
 

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An update on the LIBOR to SONIA transition. Ahead of the switch from LIBOR to SONIA, we provide a further update, including the work the Federation is doing, and how to bridge the gap for three-month LIBOR contracts.

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Housing at the heart of Boris Johnson’s vision. We need to reach out to new MPs and make the case for housing.

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Tomorrow we wake up to a new government – what will this mean for housing? Election day has come. Many have called this the most important election in a generation, a Brexit election, an election to shape Britain’s future.

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How housing associations can support Gypsy and Traveller communities. Social housing providers are incredibly well placed to deliver accommodation, support and a sense of pride to Gypsy and Traveller communities.

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Homes for the Ox-Cam Arc. New report promotes the role of housing associations in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc in helping the region to develop and grow.

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Swing voters and housing policy. Survey shows housing is a top issue for swing voters, second only to health.

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Fire safety measures in high-rise blocks. Read our response to the Government's proposals on sprinklers and other fire safety measures. 

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Disabled people are more likely to experience domestic abuse. We have a duty to all tenants and a responsibility to challenge situations where we believe someone with a disability may be at risk.

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Are you making progress on leadership diversity? Two years on from the launch of Leadership 2025, Gina reflects on what’s changed in the housing sector – and what’s not.  

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Top tips to make modern methods of construction work. Modern methods of construction (MMC) are a hot topic in housing, and something for housing associations of all sizes to consider when undertaking development projects and looking to build more homes.

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Housing Futures: identifying a problem (webinar). This is the first in our Housing Futures webinar series, which focuses on the Identify phase of the innovation process. In this webinar you will learn about the importance of collaboration and discover the key behaviours, techniques and tools you need to successfully identify a problem.
 

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Brownfield map. Our digital map plots all brownfield land sites in England.

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Building safety regulation. Specific points of regulation and legislation in the context of fire safety.

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The Stronger Towns Fund – coming (very) soon to a place near you? The Government’s latest regeneration programme has ramped up – act soon if you want a piece of the funding action.

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Let’s fix the housing crisis for good. Leading up to the general election, we need your help to ensure housing is a priority for the next government.

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Hackitt Review. The key findings of the review of building regulation and fire safety.

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Development guide. Specifically tailored for smaller housing associations, this guide to development describes each stage of the process and outlinea useful project management techniques.

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We’ve joined the Housing Made for Everyone (HoME) coalition. The Federation has signed up to a coalition of housing and voluntary sector organisations calling for more new accessible homes.

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Accounting and the Housing SORP. We’re working with housing associations and finance bodies on the International Financial Reporting Standard and the Housing SORP.

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Accountability. Accountability and transparency are critical to the reputation of an organisation, and the housing sector as a whole.

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Board management. A good board needs to be well balanced and diverse, and to evolve to meet the challenges an organisation will face.

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Group structures and joint ventures. The development of a variety of joint venture (JV) mechanisms continues to grow, with a variety of different forms of JV structures available.

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Non-board governance. Good governance depends not only on the board – there are outside factors and players that are also crucial in an organisation’s governance framework.

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What the board does. Housing association boards should give direction, provide a different perspective and constructive challenge to the executive, and hold the organisation to account.

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Housing association governance. For any organisation, including housing associations, good governance is concerned with enhancing corporate performance and value to the organisation, its shareholders and stakeholders.

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Stopping the rise in BME homelessness. Tackling homelessness in BME communities a key focus of the BME National mission statement.

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Response to the Grenfell Inquiry report. Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation welcomes today’s report into the events on the night of the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower.

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Our policy work. We’re working with the Government to help housing associations deliver more new homes. 

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Together with Tenants - updates and reflections.

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Supply conversation. We’ve been holding a sector-wide conversation with our members to explore how we can build more homes. 

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NHS prevention Green Paper. Read our response to the Government’s proposed approach to putting prevention at the centre of healthcare.

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Building Better, Building Beautiful interim report. We’ve responded to the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission’s consultation after it sought feedback on its interim report.

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Homes for BME Communities. The Federation has been working with BME National to highlight how the Government can work with the housing sector to improve housing for BME communities in England.

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Homelessness Reduction Act call for evidence. Our response covers several key recommendations, including that the Government must tackle the root causes of homelessness – lack of supply, welfare, and support.

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Response to consultation on repealing section 21.

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National Housing Federation response to the Queen’s Speech. Responding to the Queen’s Speech, Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, said “Today’s building safety proposals from the Government are very welcome – fixing the broken regulatory system must be a top priority."

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We’re supporting the No Homeless Veterans campaign. The No Homeless Veterans campaign calls on local authorities, homelessness charities and advice agencies such as Citizens Advice, to ‘Think Veteran’ and identify and signpost them to the enhanced support services available to them.

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Green paper is an opportunity to improve the planning system. Next month’s Accelerated Planning Green Paper should bring more substance and an opportunity to pitch proposals for improvement

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Working together to end homelessness. How local authorities and housing associations can work together to end homelessness.

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Housing benefit freeze: 9 in 10 homes unaffordable for families. The benefit freeze is pushing low income families to the brink, with more than nine in ten homes for private rent too expensive for those on housing benefit. Two thirds of these families are in work.

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Affordability of private rental properties. Our research shows 9 out of 10 homes for rent are unaffordable for families on housing benefit.

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Resident engagement. We’ve been feeding into the Government’s plans to ensure that residents receive the information they need to remain safe in their homes.

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Public Inquiry. The Grenfell Tower Inquiry published its Phase 1 report on 30 October 2019. The focus of Phase 1 has been to establish what happened on the night of 14 June 2017. The report has been welcomed by survivors for its wide-ranging findings.

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Safety tests and remedial work. The latest information on government investigations into building materials and practices – including cladding remedial work and fire doors.

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Have you signed up to the Commitment to Refer? As part of the Homelessness Reduction Act, public bodies are bound by the Duty to Refer. This is an obligation to refer anyone to a local authority if they are homeless or threatened with homelessness.   Housing associations are not part of this, but many of our members are keen to support the act, so we worked with MHCLG to develop a housing association offer on the Duty to Refer. We have called this the Commitment to Refer. Find out more about the Commitment, including how your organisation can sign up.

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We want to fix flaws in Universal Credit. We’ve joined the other UK housing federations, Community Housing Cymru, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations to lobby the Government for changes to the system. Read our six asks.

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How many homes did housing associations deliver in quarter one 2019/20. Briefing details the number of homes housing associations developed in the first quarter of 2019/20.

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So, what’s the big deal about BIM? Everyone seems to be talking about Building Information Modelling (BIM)… what is it? Do we need it in housing? Does it add benefit? Isn’t it just complex buildings that require 3D models?

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Right to Shared Ownership. Our response to the Government's proposal to introduce a Right to Shared Ownership.

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Together with Tenants. What are the key questions you should be asking within your organisation ahead of the 2020 rollout? 

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8.4 million people in need of a suitable home – briefing and resources. We’ve published new research revealing that 8.4 million people across England are waiting for a suitable home.

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1 in 7 people in England directly hit by the housing crisis. More than 8m people in England are living in an unaffordable, insecure or unsuitable home, according to the first ever ‘state of the nation’ report on the housing crisis.

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Preparing for Brexit – member briefing. This briefing sets out the key challenges Brexit may bring for housing associations and how the sector can prepare.

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Consultation on a New Homes Ombudsman. The Government is committed to legislating so that developers of market tenure homes must belong to a New Homes Ombudsman, and has recently consulted on the details of how such an Ombudsman would work.

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Do you want to get #boardready? The programme for future housing leaders is helping to bring new talent with fresh ideas into the boardroom.

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Rural Housing Week. Rural Housing Week is our annual celebration of rural housing when we work with housing associations to reinforce the message that housing is vital for the survival of rural communities and services.

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Landlord regulation. Housing associations are regulated by the Regulator of Social Housing, and the regulatory environment is changing rapidly. 

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Rural housing. We’re supporting housing associations to invest in rural homes and communities.

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Voluntary Right to Buy principles. In 2015, the National Housing Federation, on behalf of its members, put forward a proposal to the Government to deliver its commitment to extend Right to Buy to housing association tenants by way of voluntary agreement rather than legislation. This included several key principles.

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Voluntary Right to Buy. Find out how Voluntary Right to Buy will work in practice – delivering for tenants, for housing associations and for the Government.

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Voluntary Right to Buy pilots. Since the Voluntary Right to Buy (VRTB) agreement was reached in 2015, the Government has set up two pilot schemes to help test how it will work in practice, and ensure a smooth experience for tenants.

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Building a safer future consultation response.

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Supply Conversation – interim report. In January 2019, we began a sector-wide conversation with housing associations to explore how we can build more homes. Our interim report looks at the findings so far.

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Together with Tenants revised plan. View the Together with Tenants plan early adopter organisations are testing and evaluating. 

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Government publishes results from HPL cladding and fire door tests. On 18 July the Government announced some results of safety tests on high pressure laminate (HPL) cladding and timber fire doors.

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An update from the West Midlands Regional Committee (July 2019). The West Midlands Regional Committee brings together leaders from housing associations across the region to help shape and deliver the Federation’s work both nationally and in the West Midlands region. Update from Boris Worrall, Group Chair.

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New homeless families outnumber new social homes by 8 to 1. Our latest analysis shows that for every one new social home built in England, eight families are accepted as homeless by their local council.

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Universal Credit - updates from our work with the Government. This Universal Credit update provides the latest on rent changes, supported housing, the benefit cap and more.

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Leasehold asset management – how avoiding delays can prevent problems later. David Cotterell FRICS, Director, Savills Housing & Healthcare Division, looks at how taking early and decisive action in managing leasehold assets can help housing associations steer clear of pitfalls.

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The new Value for Money Standard – supporting transparency for housing associations. Robert Dryburgh, Assistant Director, Business Intelligence at the Regulator of Social Housing on how the Value for Money Standard could support transparency for housing associations after the CPI+1% rent increase is implemented next year.

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Selecting the right auditor – the dos and don’ts. Guy Biggin, regional Non Profits lead at national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm, Crowe, outlines what a good procurement process looks like when it comes to the annual audit.

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Local Government Pension Scheme consultation.

KPMG provides the detail behind MHCLG’s consultation on the Local Government Pension Scheme.

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Continued application of the VAT cost-sharing exemption. The VAT Cost Sharing Exemption is to continue to apply for housing associations. Deloitte explains why this is important for the sector and how it will continue to benefit National Housing Federation members.

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Helping tenants find alternatives to high-cost credit. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published guidance for housing associations to provide greater clarity about which types of activities are likely to be credit broking when advising tenants.

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National Housing Federation's response to Theresa May's announcement on social housing.

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Brexit – issues for finance teams to consider. Key considerations for housing association finance teams that may arise from the UK leaving the EU.

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Capital grant required to meet social housing need in England 2021-2031. This report estimates the subsidy required for housing associations and local authorities to build the social homes required to meet housing need over the decade from 2021. It does so by modelling the costs and funding for such a programme at local level across England.

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Our Spending Review submission to end the housing crisis. The next Spending Review is our chance to make a transformational investment in people, in homes and in our communities to end the housing crisis.

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The end of LIBOR and the arrival of SONIA. We update on the move from LIBOR to SONIA, which will affect housing associations that borrow from banks or other financial institutions.

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Together with tenants - resident involvement. We have been working with residents, tenant representative groups, our members and others to understand what practical change is needed in the relationship between housing associations and tenants.

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Together with tenants - housing association involvement. We have been working with residents, tenant representative groups, our members and others to understand what practical change is needed in the relationship between housing associations and tenants.

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Rural Housing Alliance. The National Housing Federation Rural Housing Alliance supports our members that own and manage homes in rural areas.

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Rural Housing 5-Star Plan. The Rural Housing 5-Star Plan was developed in 2017 through consultation with housing associations, and supports and challenges the sector to build more homes and support communities. 

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Our rural offer . Our offer to our members with stock in rural areas is designed to help them deliver the best service possible for their customers. 

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Code of Governance. Have your say as we work with members and stakeholders to revise our Code of Governance.

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Political engagement update for board members – April to June 2019. We update on our latest political engagement activities, including discussions on building safety and our shared ownership campaign.

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Changes to standards for new homes. The Prime Minister has announced important changes to requirements for new homes, covering space standards and accessibility. 

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New shared ownership campaign launched. Our shared ownership campaign is boosting the profile of this great product across the country on a scale that’s never been done before.

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Together with Tenants. This plan aims to strengthen the relationship between tenants, residents and housing associations. 

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Tax. We're working with our tax advisors Deloitte to keep housing associations informed on key tax issues impacting the sector.

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Pensions. We’re working with our pensions advisers KPMG to keep the sector up to date on key areas affecting our members.

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Assurance. We’ve produced a range of guidance providing advice and information on assurance and regulatory compliance.

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New government advice following the fire in Barking. The Government has issued an advice note to building owners on the risks arising from balconies on residential buildings.

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Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission.

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National Housing Federation responds to the Government consultation on building safety. Today, Victoria Moffett, Grenfell Programme Lead at the National Housing Federation issued a response to the Government consultation on building safety published on behalf of the organisation.

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Our new shared ownership campaign. We’re developing a new campaign on shared ownership, which will boost the profile of this great product across the country on a scale that’s never been done before.

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Economic Impact. Our updated Local Economic Impact Calculator shows housing associations’ contribution to the productivity of local areas.

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Housing Inequalities. How housing inequalities impact on mental health and wellbeing

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Progress on Permitted Development. The Government has responded to feedback on its recent Planning reform: supporting the high street and increasing the delivery of new homes consultation.

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Governance. Helping housing associations to establish an effective governance framework.

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Great Places . Read the final report from the Great Places Commission, setting out 10 clear recommendations for housing associations, the Government and local partners.

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Homelessness. Our sector has an ambition to help end homelessness. In this section, you can find out more about what we are doing to support this ambition.

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Health, care and housing. Strong partnerships ensure that housing and health can effectively deliver positive outcomes for the public purse, and for the people and communities who benefit from their services.

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Finance. Find the latest updates on social housing finance and key resources to help you manage your organisation.

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Find out about the latest and most ambitious stage of our innovation programme. Housing Futures is the latest and most ambitious stage of the Federation's award-winning innovation programme. This is the biggest collaborative exercise ever undertaken by our sector, with housing associations across the UK coming together to learn by doing.

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Building safety. The latest on the work of housing associations to make buildings safe.

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Five updates on building and fire safety. This includes an update on the new government testing programme on other types of cladding.

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New building safety knowledge hub for social landlords. The Federation and the Local Government Association (LGA) have launched a new building safety knowledge hub for social landlords.

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We’re calling on the Government to fix flaws in the Universal Credit system. We want to see a benefits system that works for everyone, that gives people enough money to live on, that supports people into work and that ensures everyone has fair access to affordable housing.

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Universal Credit update – 2019 rent changes process and update on the 53 week rent year. This Universal Credit update provides the latest on Landlord Portal, 53 week rent year, managed migration, pension age claimants and our work with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Select Committee.

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The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 – what to expect. This important act came into force on 20 March 2019, and gives renters the right to take action if their property is not fit for habitation.

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Supported housing update. This article provides updates on the work the Federation continues to do, our work with the Government on oversight, and how members can get involved in the near future.

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Update on VAT exemption for service charges. Deloitte outlines how exemptions could apply under different provisions for those providers who are no longer VAT exempt.

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LGPS employer base review – Tier 3 update. The Local Government Pension Scheme Advisory Board has been conducting a review of the treatment of Tier 3 employers across all UK funds. Our pensions advisers KPMG provide an update on progress.

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53-week rent year – what this means for Universal Credit payments. Many housing associations have raised the problem with the Universal Credit calculation for people with weekly tenancies in years where there are 53 rent charges.

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Addressing a post-Brexit skills shortage. A post-Brexit shortage of construction workers will be a significant barrier to building more homes.

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Approved Document B. Read the NHF submission to the Government’s consultation on fire safety guidance.

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Ten top tips for securing planning permission. The planning process can be difficult and uncertain, but there are things you can do to make the process smoother.

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Why partnership working holds the key to tackling the housing crisis. Working closely with local authority partners can help housing associations overcome some of the biggest barriers to building the homes we need.

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Mortgagee Protection Clause - GLA version. The Greater London Authority has issued a new version of the model mortgagee protection clause, which has been revised following discussions with housing associations and sector specialists.

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Housing associations and local authorities working together to build more homes. With vital support from Cornwall Council, housing associations built a quarter of all new homes in the county last year.

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National Housing Federation sets out plan of action for stronger tenant-landlord relationships. The National Housing Federation is launching an ambitious new programme of work to build a stronger relationship between housing associations and their tenants.

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Brexit may feel uncertain, but we can still prepare for the future. Our new briefing sets out the key challenges Brexit may bring for housing associations and how we can be ready for what may come.

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Domestic reverse charge for fraud in the construction sector. HMRC has confirmed that the construction industry anti-VAT fraud provisions will only apply to positive VAT-rated services (i.e. 20% or 5%), where payments are required to be reported through the Construction Industry Scheme (“CIS”). This update from Deloitte summarises the detail.

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VAT update – service charge concession rule change. HMRC has recently issued a brief concerning VAT exemption for domestic service charges. Deloitte explains the detail.

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It's time to engage with the Government’s Industrial Strategy. Housing associations should be involved in shaping Local Industrial Strategies.

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Document retention and disposal for housing associations. This document explains the requirements to retain and dispose of data for housing associations and provides guidance on appropriate data handling and disposal.

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Housing SORP: 2018 update.

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Fire safety. Read our response to the government’s consultation on the clarification of Approved Document B (ADB) of the Building Regulations.

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Why we signed up to the Commitment to Refer. Don’t underestimate the impact your organisation can have on ending homelessness.

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Over 200 housing associations pledge to tackle homelessness. 201 housing associations have pledged to tackle homelessness by signing the Commitment to Refer.

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Consumer credit authorisation. The aim of this guidance is to assist housing associations both in applying legislation to their businesses and in understanding how and when to get authorised for consumer credit/FCA regulated activities, where appropriate.

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Board Appraisal: The importance of honest conversations.

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Developing Affordable Housing (3rd edition).

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Example Standard Mortgagee Protection Clause. A Securitisation Working Group (SWG) made up of various sector stakeholders has formulated an example mortgagee protection clause.

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Countering Fraud.

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Flooding toolkit. Case studies, timelines, template packs and top tips to help manage in the event of a flood.

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Board Members' Resource Pack - governance/induction set.

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Board Members' Resource Pack - operational set.

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Board Members' Resource Pack.

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Housing Standards Handbook.

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Mergers, Group Structures and Partnerships voluntary code. This code gives housing associations a framework for mergers, group structures or other partnerships.

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Understanding Development Appraisal.

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Service Charges (5th Edition).

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Model Rules. The Model Rules have been revised so they are compliant with recent legislation, good practice, and regulatory requirements.

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Code of Governance. Promoting board excellence for housing associations.

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Understanding Assurance.

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Finance Demystified.

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Risk Management.

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Code of Conduct 2012.

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Depreciation Matrix 2012.

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Leadership and control.

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National matrix of property components 2011.

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Model shared ownership lease. This briefing takes you through the new model shared ownership lease published by the Homes and Communities Agency.

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Contract Management.

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Procurement in Practice.

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Board Member Pay.

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Who to speak to

Helen Greig, Building Better Project Director