This section contains useful stuff for hard-pressed people trying to deliver affordable housing projects and programmes. More power to your elbows!

Reasons to use a Method (processes, procedures and standard templates)

I thought it might be helpful if I outlined the benefits of using a standard Method. The following isn’t just my own personal opinion, it is what is taught under the Association for Project Management’s (APM) syllabus for their Project Management Qualification, and internationally recognised professional qualification. As I expect you know, the APM is …Read More »

Good faith in construction contracts

From Designing Buildings Wiki 28th Nov 2019 An obligation for parties to act in ‘good faith’ is not generally implied in commercial contracts. However, both standard form construction contracts and bespoke contracts commonly include clauses that require the parties to act in ‘good faith’ or may refer to ‘mutual trust’, ‘cooperation’, ‘respect’ or ‘collaboration’, or there may be some form of collaboration charter associated with contracts such as partnering agreements. However, there …Read More »

Study Material for Development Staff

I spent the first 15 years or so of my life in HA Development learning on the job. Then I started reading and discovered how much faster one can learn, and how very slow on-the-job learning tends to be. I quite often mention this on training courses. So I’m sometimes asked what reading I’d recommend for …Read More »

Reasonable endeavours or best endeavours?

What is the difference between signing up to a “reasonable endeavours” obligation on the contract, and promising to make “best endeavours”? This article from Estates Gazette makes it clear. To summarise, promising to use “reasonable endeavours” to do something means that you should try, but do not have to exhaust all possible ways of achieving …Read More »

Housing Shortage – Planners or Housebuilders fault?

This interesting piece of research from civet us suggests that the common conventional wisdom that the housing shortage is primarily caused by the planning system, may well be wrong. It highlights the increasing discrepancy between the number of homes permissioned, and those built. it also points to the likelihood that the culprits are often neither …Read More »

Getting more affordable housing – a long-term solution?

The National Housing Federation’s London Development Conference was, as usual, thought provoking. We all know that the prospects for affordable housing – I use the term correctly, not in the Newspeak manner of recent years – is bleak, especially for affordable rented housing. So it was cheering to hear influential speakers talk about the need …Read More »

Overview of valuation methods

Here are another very useful couple of articles from the Estates Gazette’s series “Mainly for Students”. These two articles provide an overview of the 5 main valuation methods, focusing on the single most important one – the Comparative Method. These articles will be of use to Development & Regeneration staff who wants to gain some …Read More »

Magna Carta – property rights led to freedom, human rights & democracy?

An interesting and entertaining article in the Estates Gazette highlights that Magna Carta forms the basis for the establishment of secure property rights in this country. Meanwhile, on the BBC Radio 4 programme Point of View, Prof Roger Scruton, philosopher, considers the underlying institutions needed for democracy, human rights and freedom to exist in a country, …Read More »

Valuation: the normal margin of error

This article from Estates Gazette is a couple of years old, but still provides a useful description of the “expected” margin of error valuations. Valuation room for error To summarise, even for everyday street properties, of which there are many comparables, a difference of 5% between the valuer’s opinion and the price realised is considered …Read More »

How are land deals structured?

This is a short note about the various types of structures that can be used to buy or sell land, and some of their pros and cons. This should be useful for all Development/Regeneration staff who are involved in buying land directly from landowners, or who may be dealing with other players in the land …Read More »

Planning limitations vs conditions

See this useful attached article from the splendid Estates Gazette Practice & Law section last month. In short, the description of the planning permission granted may purport to limit what’s built, but unless the permission ALSO has a condition to the same effect, the “limitation” in the permission description may not be enforceable. So, if …Read More »

5 things you should know about…Wikis

Wikis are powerful communication tools that can also be used for other purposes such as technical authoring. We use a wiki to provide Development Procedures that are particularly flexible, and user-friendly. We think that their use will grow rapidly over the next few years. Nearly everybody is familiar with Wikipedia, but we thought it would …Read More »

Funding the Future

In this presentation to the Pamwin Conference 2009 we were asked to gaze into our crystal ball to see how the public subsidy system may change after the 2008/11 period. The presentation looked at historical trends in the subsidy system to identify the trajectory. In concluding that we would be moving from a grant-based system …Read More »

Competing For Skills – Preparing For The Upturn

This is a presentation to the NHF’s July 2009 Development & Regeneration Conference. The brief was to consider how changes in the shape of HA affordable housing programmes will affect demand for Development / Regeneration staff over the next 5 years. Our prediction was that Government subsidy would fall sharply but we would still be …Read More »