Housing News Digest

RobertThe Tenants' Union Housing News Digest compiles our pick of items from all the latest tenancy and housing media. It is sent every Monday and Thursday at 10am. 

Below is the Digest archive from November 2020 onwards. From time to time you will find additional items in the archive that did not make it into the twice weekly Digest email. Earlier archives are here, where you can also find additional digests by other organisations. 

Our e-magazine, Tenant News is sent once every two months.

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See notes about the Digest and a list of other contributors here. Many thanks to those contributors for sharing links with us.

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Lisa Borthwick: Another step to strengthening rights

Lisa Borthwick
Scottish Housing News (No paywall)

Changes to local connection legislation, which come into force today, that suspends the power of Scottish local authorities to refer people who present as homeless to another area is a long time coming, says Lisa Borthwick at Shelter Scotland.

Tuesday 29 November is a momentous day for housing and homelessness rights in Scotland. As of today, anyone presenting as homeless can seek support from a local authority of their choosing, because people no longer need to have a connection to the local authority they are seeking homelessness assistance from – so-called ‘local connection’ rules.


# International, Public-and-community-housing, Homelessness, Housing affordability.

Woman dying of lung disease ‘caused by mould’ urges action on rogue landlords

Robert Booth
The Guardian (No paywall)

Tenant, who is suing landlord in test case, calls on UK government to back renters in claiming damages.

A woman with potentially terminal lung disease who claims it was due to being exposed to mould in her rented home has demanded the government empowers victims to take rogue landlords to court and “hit them in the wallet”.

The woman, who is in her 50s, said she may have as little as 18 months to live. A medical expert she engaged in a legal action against her landlord believes her illness was likely triggered by moulds within her home caused by disrepair. She now requires constant oxygen via mask or nasal catheter and is on the waiting list for a lung transplant.


# International, Repairs, Health, Mould.

ne of World’s Priciest Cities Turbocharges Affordable Housing

Feargus O'Sullivan
Bloomberg (No paywall)

Paris may convert offices, parking garages and defunct hotels to meet a new target to make 40% of homes accessible to people on lower incomes.

Paris, ranked among the world’s most expensive cities to reside in various surveys, might not make the most obvious of role models for housing affordability policies.

But after succeeding in making 25% of its accommodation accessible to people on lower incomes by the end of last year, the French capital has set a target of lifting that to 40% by 2035. That means a major expansion of public housing so that homes for low-income tenants make up 30% of all units with an additional 10% comprising below-market rate abodes for middle-income tenants, Paris Housing Commissioner Ian Brossat told French media on Sunday.


# International, Public-and-community-housing, Affordable housing, Housing affordability.

Tenants still ill from conditions in Rochdale estate where mould caused two year old’s death

Clare Fallon
Channel 4 (No paywall)

They say they’re sorry, they’ve sacked their Chief Executive and after accusations of racism, they’ve acknowledged they made assumptions about the lifestyle of two-year-old Awaab Ishak’s parents that were wrong.

But despite the claims from Rochdale Boroughwide Housing that lessons have been learned, tonight this programme reveals residents on the estate where Awaab died are still being housed in conditions so bad they say it is making them ill.


# Video International, Discrimination, Public-and-community-housing, Repairs, Mould.

A new study says the housing market is largely to blame for Portland’s homeless crisis

Blair Best
KGW8 (No paywall)

ORTLAND, Ore. — A new study by a pair of researchers tried to find the root cause of homelessness in cities across the U.S. It revealed how Portland's housing market plays a much bigger part in the crisis than many might think.

The urban study called “Homelessness is a Housing Problem” found that the biggest factors in the homeless crisis are not necessarily addiction or mental health but rather a combination of high rent prices and a lack of affordable housing.

More info about the study https://homelessnesshousingproblem.com/


# Research alert, Video International, Public-and-community-housing, Homelessness, Housing affordability, Housing market.

‘I’ve been on the waiting list for over 20 years’: why social housing suitable for people with disabilities is desperately needed

Alan Morris and Jan Idle
The Conversation (No paywall)

One of the most common reasons people apply for social housing is because they or their immediate family members have a disability and they are unable to work. They need an affordable alternative to private rental housing that’s suitable for their disability-related needs.


# Research alert NSW, Public-and-community-housing, Disability, Personal stories.

How legendary chef’s widow ended up in affordable housing

Caitlin Fitzsimmons
The Sydney Morning Herald (No paywall)

When Amanda Bilson was raising her children in Bellevue Hill together with her late husband, the famed Sydney chef and restaurateur Tony Bilson, she never thought she would face homelessness.
But that’s what happened when the Bilson restaurant empire collapsed in 2011 and then her beloved Tony became sick with bladder cancer in 2015.


# NSW, Affordable housing, Housing affordability, Older people.

Coffs Harbour public housing tenant says walls leak, Mission Australia denies 'major' water damage

Nick Parmeter
ABC (No paywall)

Anne sits amid her possessions, crammed into the small lounge room of her social housing home in Coffs Harbour.
Anne, who did not want to use her real name, said she was embarrassed by her living conditions but felt she had no choice.
She said she is crammed everything into that room because the walls in the rest of the house became wet every time it rained, which lately had been a lot.


# TUNSW in the media NSW, Public-and-community-housing, Repairs, Disasters - storm, fire, flood etc.

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