The communities minister, Don Foster, has hinted that George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, may introduce more flexibility to the current cap on the amount that local authorities can borrow against their housing stock debt.
This is now a question for Gloria Mackenzie, an 84-year-old widow who recently emerged from her small, tin-roofed house in Florida to collect the biggest undivided lottery jackpot in history.
It is far better to spend money on experiences, say Ms. Dunn and Mr. Norton, like interesting trips, unique meals or even going to the cinema.
These two academics use an array of behavioral research to show that the most rewarding ways to spend money can be counterintuitive.
It seems most people would be better off if they could shorten their commutes to work, spend more time with friends and family and less of it watching television (something the average American spends a whopping two months a year doing, and is hardly jollier for it).
But most people will come away from this book believing it was money well spent.
Yet the link between feeling good and spending money on others can be seen among rich and poor people around the world, and scarcity enhances the pleasure of most things for most people.
Buying gifts or giving to charity is often more pleasurable than purchasing things for oneself, and luxuries are most enjoyable when they are consumed sparingly.
Since technology has such an insatiable appetite for eating up human jobs, this phenomenon will continue to restructure our economy in ways we can't immediately foresee.
In our rapidly changing economy, we more than ever need people in the workplace who can take initiative and exercise their imagination "to respond to unexpected events."
When there is exponential improvement in the price and performance of technology, jobs that were once thought to be immune from automation suddenly become threatened.
In other words, we need to look at the ways in which machines can augment human labor rather than replace it.
Hagel says we have designed jobs in the U.S. that tend to be "tightly scripted" and "highly standardized" ones that leave no room for "individual initiative or creativity".
This argument has attracted a lot of attention, via the success of the book Race Against the Machine, by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, who both hail from MIT's Center for Digital Business.
And yet, John Hagel, author of The Power of Pull and other books, says Brynjolfsson and McAfee miss the reason why these jobs are so vulnerable to technology in the first place.
If the subjects quickly chose a falsely flattering image — which most did — they genuinely believed it was really how they looked.
Nor was there any evidence that those who self-enhance the most (that is, the participants who thought the most positively doctored picture were real) were doing so to make up for profound insecurities.
Rather than have people simply rate their beauty compared with others, he asked them to identify an original photograph of themselves from a lineup including versions that had been altered to appear more and less attractive.
Knowing the results of Epley's study, it makes sense that many people hate photographs of themselves so viscerally — on one level, they don't even recognise the person in the picture as themselves.
An article in Scientific America has pointed out that empirical research says that, actually, you think you're more beautiful than you are.
In fact, those who thought that the images higher up the attractiveness scale were real directly correspond with those who showed other markers for having higher self-esteem.
The US $3-million Fundamental Physics Prize is indeed an interesting experiment, as Alexander Polyakov said when he accepted this year's award in March.
Social psychologists have amassed oceans of research into what they call the "above average effect", or "illusory superiority", and shown that, for example, 70% of us rate ourselves as above average in leadership, 93% in driving and 85% at getting on well with others — all obviously statistical impossibilities.
As Nature has pointed out before, there are some legitimate concerns about how science prizes — both new and old — are distributed.
These benefactors have succeeded in their chosen fields, they say, and they want to use their wealth to draw attention to those who have succeeded in science.
Some want to shock, others to draw people into science, or to better reward those who have made their careers in research.
But the Nobel Foundation's limit of three recipients per prize, each of whom must still be living, has long been outgrown by the collaborative nature of modern research — as will be demonstrated by the inevitable row over who is ignored when it comes to acknowledging the discovery of the Higgs boson.
The Nobels were, of course, themselves set up by a very rich individual who had decided what he wanted to do with his own money.
In fact, allowing non-lawyers to own shares in law firms would reduce costs and improve services to customers, by encouraging law firms to use technology and to employ professional managers to focus on improving firms' efficiency.
There is just one path for a lawyer in most American states: a four-year undergraduate degree in some unrelated subject, then a three-year law degree at one of 200 law schools authorized by the American Bar Association and an expensive preparation for the bar exam.