The government has announced plans to directly commission the building of affordable homes on public land.

Housing charity Shelter has cautioned that rents and mortgages in England mean a significant number of families are having to skimp on heating and winter clothes in order to meet housing costs.

According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the cost of renting in the UK could rise faster than house prices, increasing by 25 per cent over the next five years.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis will give councils authority to fine property owners and agents up to £30,000 for failing to tackle overcrowding and hazardous conditions in their buildings.

Rotherham councillors are set to receive decision-making powers from commissioners who maintain services are of good quality, well run and have strong leadership in place.

A report entitled ‘Beyond business rates: incentivising cities to grow’ has argued that councils should be handed more control of their finances, including the £10 billion generated in stamp duty tax.

The Local Government Association (LGA) has called for a ‘far ranging government backed’ national database to help councils crack down on ‘rogue landlords’.

Under new proposed amendments to the Housing and Planning Bill, council house tenancies could be limited to a maximum of five years, phasing out lifelong agreements.

A new housing body has been introduced to examine ways in which councils can build more ‘desperately needed’ homes.

Scottish Parliament has called for local authorities to maximise the opportunities presented through pension funds to improve local infrastructure.

Housing experts have denounced the government’s ‘pay to stay’ policy, claiming forcing social housing tenants with higher incomes to pay more in rent will discourage them from increasing their earnings.

300,000 homes will be better protected from flooding by 2021 following a £2.3 billion investment in flood defence schemes.

As part of his joint Spending Review and Autumn Statement, Chancellor George Osborne has revealed that the housing budget is to be doubled to £2 billion a year.

A review has been launched to ensure that local communities benefit from development in their area.

Flintshire County Council has opted to suspend the Right to Buy scheme in its area due to a shortage of social housing.

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