• Research Briefing

    Rough sleeping (England)

    The 2020 autumn count in England recorded 2,688 rough sleepers, representing a fall of 37% on 2019 but 52% higher than the number recorded in 2010. This paper provides background information on the causes of rough sleeping and local authorities' duties. The Government has committed to end rough sleeping by 2024. A separate paper, Coronavirus: Support for rough sleepers (England), details specific measures in place to assist rough sleepers during the pandemic.

  • Research Briefing

    Planning for the Future: planning policy changes in England in 2020 and future reforms

    The Planning for the Future white paper published in August 2020, setting out the Government's proposals for "once in a generation" reform of England's planning system, and separate proposals to reform the current system of calculating housing need proved controversial. This briefing from the House of Commons Library examines those proposals and the other planning changes already made during the Covid-19 pandemic, including the announcement on 16 December 2020 on changes to the standard method for calculating housing need.

  • Research Briefing

    Housing First: tackling homelessness for those with complex needs

    Housing First (HF) is a homelessness intervention strategy, aimed at people with multiple and complex needs, particularly rough sleepers. It provides access to permanent housing as a starting point to help tackle their non-housing needs as well. HF is often contrasted with “linear”, “stairway” and “treatment first” schemes, which proponents argue can result in high rates of attrition and a lack of appropriate service support due to the need for users to meet certain requirements before moving into stable independent housing.

  • Research Briefing

    A voluntary Right to Buy for housing association tenants in England

    The 2015 Conservative Government committed to extend the Right to Buy to assured tenants of housing associations on a voluntary basis. The Conservative Party's 2019 Manifesto said the voluntary Right to Buy scheme would be maintained. No implementation date for full roll-out has been announced. A large regional pilot scheme in the Midlands was launched on 16 August 2018. An evaluation of the findings was published in February 2021. The Government has said that the impact of the pilot scheme will be assessed before decisions are made on the next steps. This paper provides background on the statutory Right to Buy and commentary on progress in developing and extending it to assured housing association tenants as a voluntary scheme.

  • Research Briefing

    Leasehold high-rise flats: who pays for fire safety work?

    This paper considers the debate about who is responsible for paying for fire safety works on blocks of flats in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire. It covers progress in implementing the Government decision to fund remediation work for affected blocks with ACM cladding in the social and private sectors. In March 2020, a £1 billion Building Safety Fund was announced to fund the removal of unsafe non-ACM cladding on high-rise blocks in the social and private sectors. Additional funding of £3.5 billion was announced on 10 February 2021. Ongoing issues include the adequacy of the funding available and how historic defects, such as a lack of fire stopping measures, will be paid for.

  • Research Briefing

    Mortgage Arrears and Repossessions (England)

    This House of Commons Library briefing paper outlines temporary measures to assist homeowners to manage their mortgage payments during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. It considers lenders’ obligations towards homeowners who are struggling with their mortgage payments, outlines possible sources of advice for mortgagors, and discusses the mortgage support schemes that were introduced in response to the 2008 financial crisis.

  • Research Briefing

    Planning: change of use

    Certain changes of use can be done without planning permission, using what are known as permitted development rights (PDRs). This briefing formerly explained use classes and PDRs, examined recent changes and looked in depth at the controversy surrounding the PDR for change of use from office to residential accommodation.

  • Research Briefing

    Leasehold and commonhold reform

    This paper considers trends in leasehold ownership, ongoing problems associated with the sector, and Government plans for reform. The 2017 Government committed to legislate in this area "as soon as Parliamentary time allows". The Conservative Manifesto 2019 contained a pledge to “continue with our reforms to leasehold.” There is an intention to legislate in the forthcoming Parliamentary Session to set future ground rents to zero as the first part of "seminal two-part reforming legislation in this Parliament". The paper includes analysis of leasehold transaction data, including constituency statistics.