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Baker Homes Blog

37 terms you need to know if you work in housing - Part 1

Posted by Emma Jones on 31/07/15 07:30

Working in housing, there are many terms and accronyms that get thrown around. A number of people have suggested to us that it would be useful to put up a list of some of those.

Here is our first go.

Allocations – housing departments at local councils allocate potential residents to housing associations. All will have been checked against eligibility requirements.

BIM (Building information modeling) – is a process involving the generation and management of digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of places.

Board member – all housing associations have board members who oversee the work of the executives and the organisation. They are generally not paid for their work, or only paid a minimal rate.

Central service centre (or helpdesk) – most Housing Associations have a department staffed by Maintenance Service Officers (MSOs) or similar staff. They take calls, many of them related to repair reporting. Some centres also deal with complaints and general enquiries.

CLG or DCLG (Department for Communities and Local Government – formerly the OPDM (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister), this government department looks after all government policy related to social housing and development of new homes.

CROHM (Carbon Reduction Options for Housing Managers)  this service analyses which measures are most cost effective for reducing fuel poverty or improving the energy efficiency of homes.

The analysis can also quantify the potential contribution that Government grant schemes may make to meeting overall programme costs and how retrofit can be aligned with wider asset management and investment plans. Over 400,000 homes have been analysed using this modelling. For more information click here.

Decanting – the process by which residents in areas that are about to be redeveloped are moved out of an old home into alternative accommodation. Some may wish to return to newly-built homes, but some prefer not to have two lots of upheaval. Occasionally residents are decanted if major work has to take place to their homes.

Decent homes – The standard set by the ODPM for all homes owned by councils and housing associations. This includes such things as homes being completely weather-proof with relatively new kitchens and bathrooms.

DLO (Direct Labour Organisation)  a business unit (also known as a Direct Service Organisation) of a United Kingdom local authority or housing association which undertakes work specified by the Local Government Act 1988 and Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 and/or other work, including construction and maintenance. Its workers are directly employed by the authority.

ECO (Energy Company Obligation) – runs alongside the Green Deal with the aim of reducing domestic carbon emissions and alleviating fuel poverty. It is delivered by the larger energy companies (any with more than 250,000 customers) and they are expected to invest money each a year (which they recoup through energy bills).

Foyer – accommodation for 16 to 25 year olds. To be eligible for a place in a Foyer young people must meet strict criteria on homelessness. Once at the Foyer they sign up to a training programme with a view to obtaining gainful employment and independent living.

Fuel poverty – household are considered fuel poor if: they have fuel costs that are above the median level ( i.e. the national average); and were they to spend that amount they would be left with a residual income below the official poverty line.’ Government reported in 2015 that over 2.3 million households in the UK are in fuel poverty.

Gas servicing – all housing associations are obliged to carry out an annual gas service at all tenants’ homes using inspectors registered by GasSafe (formerly CORGI). Failure by the tenant to let the gas inspector in can ultimately result in court action and even eviction for persistent offenders.

Green Deal – a pay as you save scheme for energy efficiency measures introduced in October 2024. It is available for domestic, business, and for landlords. Uptake recently quadrupled in the last year to 13,082 loans Housing associations are not generally using the green deal to improve homes. The Green Deal has now been scrapped.

HCA (Homes & Communities Association) – regulatory body for all social housing providers in England.  Also provides investment funding to communities to improve and renovate housing stock.

Homebuy  a government funded initiative designed to help people who cannot afford to buy a home that suits the needs of their household.

LAs – Local Authorities.

Low cost home ownership – includes Homebuy and Shared ownership.

LSVT (Large Scale Voluntary Transfer)  when council tenants vote to transfer their homes to be owned and managed by a housing association.

Lupo – the legendary Richard Lupo, a senior sustainability consultant at Baker Homes.

National Housing Federation – the trade body for housing associations. Also known as the Nat Fed or Housing Federation.

Do you have terms you think everybody should know? What are they? Let us know

To find more useful terms, see part 2 of this list here

Topics: Baker Homes, Fuel poverty, Regulations, Housing, Energy efficiency

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