Glossary of housing terms
Affordable housing is defined by the Planning Policy Statement 3 (PPS 3) and is a term which relates to housing which is either for sale or for rent – or a combination of both – at below current market values. Typically, it takes the form of social rented, shared ownership, key worker, outright below market sale or below market rent in the private sector.
Disabled Facilities Grant (DFGs)
Disabled Facilities Grants are available for work that is needed to help a disabled person live more independently in their own home. DFGs are available to owners and tenants.
Extra Care covers a range of types of supported housing which provide a caring environment for older people. It is often specially designed self-contained housing and may have a range of communal facilities.
FIRST STEPS enables anyone looking for an affordable home in London to complete just one application form to access a range of affordable shared ownership and equity loan schemes being marketed in London. There are two HomeBuy agents in London - L&Q Group and Metropolitan Home Ownership.
Homes and Communities Agency (HCA)
The Homes and Communities Agency provides grant funding to Registered Social Landlords to assist them in providing affordable housing. Under the Localism Bill to be introduced late 2010, Government proposes to transfer the economic regulation function of the disbanded Tenant Services Agency (TSA) to an independent Committee within the HCA. The majority of performance and tenants’ issues will be devolved to a Local Authority level, with only Central Government intervention for more serious regulatory issues.
Home Improvement Agency (HIA)
The Home Improvement Agency provides support to clients to enable them to remain independent in their chosen home for the foreseeable future. Assistance may include instructing and supervising builders and providing advice on finding appropriate finance.
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
A house in multiple occupation (HMO) is any house or flat which is occupied by more than one household who share (or lack) kitchen, bathroom or toilet facilities. If these facilities are for exclusive use but they are not self-contained within the living accommodation, the property will still count as an HMO. Self contained flats in converted buildings may also be HMOs if they were converted before 1991 and at least one third of the flats are occupied under short tenancies. HMOs include bedsits, some shared houses, hostels and houses converted into flats. A household is made up of members of the same family.
This is a summary definition. Full definitions can be found in the Housing Act 2004 (sections 254 to 259).
Housing Associations (HAs)
Housing Associations are independent societies, bodies of trustees or companies established for the purpose of providing low-cost social housing for people in housing need on a non-profit-making basis.
Intermediate Housing is an umbrella term for a range of options available to help households on low to moderate income to enter the home-ownership market. It is submarket housing which is above social housing rents but below open market levels. This includes various forms of shared ownership housing, key worker housing and intermediate rent provision.
Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)
The Joint Strategic Needs Assessment is a comprehensive assessment of the health and well-being needs of the population of Richmond upon Thames.
A ‘key worker’ is an employee in a key public service job – teaching, nursing, social work, police and other essential jobs. Recruitment and retention of employees to these posts has proved difficult over the past few years, it is believed, due in part to the lack of affordable housing in the London and South East Region. Many of these key workers fall within a low to moderate income bracket for whom intermediate housing would be a solution.
A leaseholder is an owner-occupier who has bought a property and holds a lease for a length of time such as 99 years. Usually the leaseholder pays a capital sum known as a premium when they buy their lease and also pay a ground rent to the freeholder. They may also pay a service charge.
Local Housing Allowance (LHA)
Local Housing Allowance is a new way of working out Housing Benefit for tenants who pay rent to a private landlord and only affects tenants who rent their home from a private landlord.
Local Strategic Partnership (LSP)
A local strategic partnership is a non-statutory body that brings together the different parts of the public, private, voluntary and community sectors, to work at a local level. The lead role in the LSP is taken by the local council. Other major players could include the local police and the primary care trust (PCT). The LSP helps different organisations work together to improve the quality of life in an area and deliver public services more effectively.
New Build HomeBuy (formerly Shared Ownership)
New Build HomeBuy is the scheme formerly known as Shared Ownership. It is a part-buy part-rent scheme and offers a way to buy what you can afford now so you are not financially over-stretched. It is a way to buy either a brand new built home or, occasionally, a newly refurbished home. Anyone who cannot afford to buy a suitable home on the open market can apply, although priority will be given to council and housing association tenants and eligible key workers.
Private Rented Sector (PRS)
The Private Rented Sector is defined as accommodation that is privately owned, that is,not by a social landlord, and rented out, usually at a profit. The PRScovers all forms of accommodation and varies in quantity and quality from place to place. It currently makes up approximately 13 per cent of the UK housing market and continues togrow.
Registered Providers (also known as Registered Social Landlords)
Registered Providersare government-funded not-for-profit organisations that provide affordable housing. They include housing associations, trusts and co-operatives. They work with local authorities to provide homes for people meeting the affordable homes criteria. As well as developing land and building homes, they undertake a landlord function by maintaining properties and collecting rent.
Rent Deposit Guarantee Scheme
The Rent Deposit Guarantee Scheme is intended to assist people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless to find housing in the private rented sector. It guarantees the deposit required against any reasonable dilapidations which may occur during the period of rental, up to the equivalent of 6 week's rent.
Accommodation provided by organisations such as local authorities and housing associations. Usually they aim to provide accommodation at affordable rents and they are publicly accountable.
A tenant is someone who has the use of a house, flat etc subject to the payment of rent to the owner.