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

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.

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".

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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Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
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A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
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Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
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'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
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Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
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Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam