News The more modern town of Salford, where the latest investment of the English Cities Fund is expected to be announced

Could Britain’s chronic housing shortage be solved by using insurers’ assets? Jamie Dunkley and Russell Lynch report

Rural exodus leads to dozens of village schools closing

Ministers say relaxation of planning laws will boost rural communities by enabling affordable housing

Mark Steel: When in doubt, blame red tape

The problem, apparently, is red tape. It's stifling business and preventing growth, because red tape is evil, and you can no more argue in favour of red tape than say, "I don't wish to contribute to the fight against cancer as I think we should have more of it".

Mortgage approvals increase to 14-month high

The squeeze on mortgage borrowers is easing, according to lending figures released yesterday by the Bank of England. Approvals for home purchases in July numbered 49,239, up from 48,500 in June. Approvals are now at their highest level since May 2010 as building societies and banks continue to increase their lending to prospective home buyers.

Houseboats to provide key to UK housing crisis

The government has unveiled its latest answer to the shortage of affordable homes in Britain: it wants more people to live on houseboats.

Liverpool urged to make stadium decision by minister

Housing minister Grant Shapps has called on Liverpool to make a swift decision on their stadium plans to prevent ongoing uncertainty in the area.

Ayre accuses government in Liverpool stadium row

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre has angrily responded to housing minister Grant Shapps after he criticised the amount of time it is taking the club to decide on its stadium future.

Paul Vallely: Vengeance is not the answer

Court sentences and communities seek revenge, but that merely perpetuates a damaging cycle

Riots: Cameron under attack

Boris Johnson calls for U-turn on police numbers, while No 10 ridiculed over plans to use water cannon

At the bottom of the ladder: Why shared ownership ends in disappointment for many people

Part-buy, part-rent schemes offer to fulfil the dreams of first-time buyers. But they're not always an easy option, says Oliver Bennett

Government plans to scrap squatters' rights

Squatters could be jailed and so-called "squatters' rights" scrapped under Government plans.

Shapps: Mortgage lenders must do more

Mortgage lenders came under a two-pronged attack yesterday, as the Government and the building industry demanded they do more to kick-start the property market. But lenders pointed out that the schemes called for were already available.

Scheme launched to help first-time buyers

A new scheme aimed at helping first-time buyers to get a foot on the property ladder was launched by the Government today.

House Doctor: 'How long until I can get on the first rung of the property ladder?

Question: I'm due to graduate with a Masters degree and have been fortunate enough to land a job paying a very decent £35,000 a year.

Land sale planned to reduce deficit

The Government is planning to sell public land worth an estimated £10bn to address a chronic housing shortage and help erode its record budget deficit. The Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, is due to announce today that all government departments with significant land banks will be asked to identify, by the autumn, land suitable for sale for homes.

Wealthy council tenants face review

Tenants who earn more than £100,000 a year could be removed from their council houses under plans being examined by the Government.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on