Industry Intel

April Industry News Headline Round-Up; Property, Environmental Health & Housing.

Tina Ledger

Graphic Designer

Jul 27, 2022

This April, the housing industry has primarily focused on the impact on construction and housing from the war in Ukraine.

Sponsors of Ukrainian refugees are set to get council tax breaks, and industry professionals have stated that the impact of the war has only just begun to be felt by the construction industry.

In other news, building safety and environmental targets are being further prioritised by government pledges. More money has been pledged to address the proper safety of buildings, and innovation in highway decarbonisation projects is on the horizon.

Read on in our latest industry roundup!

Sponsors Of Ukrainian Refugees To Get Council Tax Breaks

Households who become sponsors through the Homes for Ukraine scheme will not lose their council tax discounts and can receive additional benefits.

‘The generosity of the general public has been astounding and I want to thank them sincerely for their ongoing support and for opening up their homes to those who need it the most. ‘These regulations will help ensure that sponsors are rightfully not financially penalised by opening their homes, and will provide clarity to local councils as they help us deliver this landmark scheme.’ ~ Lord Harrington

Council tax discounts include:

  • A 50% discount for second homes or empty houses that are used to house Ukrainian refugees.
  • Council tax discounts for single persons will continue if the other occupants are Ukrainian refugees housed under the scheme.
  • Sponsors will be protected from any home insurance cost changes with their cover remaining the same for 12 months, as confirmed by The Association of British Insurers (ABI).

For more information, click here.

Councils To Fund Housing For Homeless Refugees

The latest figures from the Local Government Association (LGA) have revealed that 144 Ukrainian refugees have appealed to councils in England for help with housing due to homelessness.

Refugees minister Lord Harrington has said that Councils will have to accommodate these homeless Ukrainian refugees from their budgets.

These refugees are likely to have entered the country on family visas rather than through the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme, resulting in a lack of suitable accommodation being provided as councils receive no funding to support refugees arriving on family visas.

For more information, click here.

War’s Impact ‘only Beginning To Be Felt’ In UK Construction, Says CLC

According to the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) the impact of the Ukraine war is “only beginning to be felt” in UK construction.

Rising metal prices, for example, the doubling price of nickel, a shortage in supply of neon, and difficulties obtaining microchips and semiconductors have led to an increase of over 20% in the electrotechnical sector. The rising price of oil will also affect both fuel and the production of plastics.

The impact is considered greatest for small and medium-sized firms as it is difficult to budget or quote for projects without the risk of eroding profit margin without price continuity.

For more information, click here.

Housing Industry To Pay £5bn To Address Building Safety Scandal

The government has recently revealed an agreement that will see the housing industry contribute £5bn to ensure that the buildings they have built are safe for residents.

Levelling up secretary Michael Gove has revealed an agreement which will see the housing industry pay £5bn to address the building safety scandal. Developers will need to commit at least £2bn to ensure their buildings are safe, and the industry will pay approximately £3bn via the Building Safety Levy.

In particular, this bill aims to protect leaseholders and addresses the February amendments to the Building Safety Bill, which forces developers to pay for the removal of unsafe cladding from their buildings.

This new building safety levy aims to raise £3bn over the next ten years as part of the government’s pledge to remediate tower blocks affected by the fire safety crisis.

For more information, click here and here.

Three Councils Win Competition To Digitise Planning Services

Nottingham City, Dacorum Borough Council, and South Ayrshire have won a competition which gives them free consultancy and access to GIS from ESRI UL to explore the digitisation of their planning processes.

These three Council’s pilot projects will explore how geospatial technology can help with this digitisation through the use of 3D visualisations, GIS systems to enhance developer contributions, and the development of an innovative community consultation platform.

For more information, click here.

Inland Homes Becomes Latest Housebuilder To Sign The Cladding Pledge

Inland Home, a £181.7m revenue Buckinghamshire-based property developer, has signed the cladding pledge to remediate its own tower blocks.

Fifty-three large developers were asked to sign the pledge, however, the list published on April 13th recorded only 35 signatories, with Inland Homes absent.

However, Inland Homes’ have now committed to prioritising work with DLUHC to carry out the necessary repairs, particularly those in relation to ‘life-critical’ safety issues, to protect their leaseholders and occupants.

For more information, click here.

Gove Promises ‘reputational Consequences’ For Products Firms After Cladding Talks Break Down

Housing secretary Michael Gove has vowed to hold the construction product firms to account for their part in the building safety scandal and the cladding remediation pledge.

Although 36 developers have signed up to the cladding pledge, there has been a vast lack of accountability or responsibility from the product firms whose cladding and insulation materials played an active part in the crisis.

The secretary of state has announced that he will be using the powers established in the Building Safety Bill to hold these manufacturers to account through the courts.

For more information, click here.

Khan Appoints London Legacy Development Corporation Head As New Housing Delivery Lead

Lyn Garner has been appointed as the new housing delivery lead for LLDC. Lyn Garner is the current Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), with primary responsibility for overseeing the delivery of affordable housing on GLA Group owned land.

The GLA Group is a major landowner with over 17,000 homes under construction on their land since 2016. This includes land owned by Transport for London and the Fire Brigade.

Lyn’s key roles in tackling London’s housing crisis will have her oversee:

  • GLA Group’s collaboration on housing delivery
  • Promote consistency in practice
  • Support decision-making
  • Support performance management forums

For more information, click here.

Government Invests In Innovation With £30 Million For Cutting-Edge Highway Decarbonisation Projects

A £30m investment will fund pioneering projects aiming to decarbonise local UK highways infrastructure, focusing on the sustainability of the construction, maintenance, and management of the roads.

The funding is being made available through the Live Labs 2 competition, funded by the Department for Transport (DfT). Live Labs 2 is in its second round of funding and is being organised by the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) as part of the government’s initiative to create cleaner air and reach net zero emissions by 2050.

This second round launched on April 7th and follows the success of the first £22.9 million Live Labs programme, which supported the creation of 8 innovative local projects.

Live Labs 2 will continue to build partnerships between DfT, councils, commercial partners, and SMEs with the goal of delivering scalable zero-carbon objectives across the UK.

For more information, click here.

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Graphic Designer

Tina Ledger

Being such a people person makes Tina exceptionally good at her job. She not only can relate to most people in one way or another, but she also genuinely enjoys hearing about other people’s experiences. Couple that with her creativity, resilience and ability to flourish under pressure, and you’ve got yourself a cracking Graphic Designer.

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