Lunchtime news March 14

The solution to the housing crisis is to recycle existing cities, not to create urban sprawl by building on the green belt, argue Anne Power and John Houghton in a new book and article in Society Guardian today.

The Lyons review will recommend at least one extra council tax band for expensive homes when it is published next week, report several papers including The Guardian and The Telegraph, which says the tax on £1m homes could double under one option.

The Housing Corporation has launched a new guide aimed at ensuring associations are clear and transparent in the way they set service charges.

The Scottish Executive is expanding its Homestake shared equity scheme to six more areas with £10m of extra funding. Communities minister Rhona Brankin told the CIH Scotland conference that interest in the pilot area of Edinburgh and the Lothians had been double what it expected.

The five major Scottish housing organisations are presenting a joint message at the conference today.

A CML reponse [downloads PDF] to Housing Corporation consultation supports tenant involvement but says there should be limits to it. “Lenders do have reservations about enhanced tenant representation going significantly beyond the one-third/one-third/one-third model however, particularly when tenant majorities are contemplated.”

The National Federation of Almos is calling for more resident involvement in its submission to the Cave Review. It’s also published a summary [downloads PDF] of submissions to the review so far.