Subject to approval by both Houses of Parliament of the Housing Bill and of the necessary designation orders, my right hon. Friend proposes to establish housing action trusts in:
Maps have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses today showing the areas that might be covered by the housing action trusts. My right hon. Friend will shortly be appointing consultants to advice him further. Final decisions on the areas to be designated will be taken in the light of the consultants' studies and of local views.
My right hon. Friend has chosen those areas taking account of the matters listed in clause 60(5) of the Ho using Bill. The combination of problems associated with the rundown council housing in those areas is such that a radical approach is necessary to give tenants decent housing, better services and more choice. It will therefore be the job of each housing action trust, in consultation with the residents, to carry out a major programme of renovation, to bring empty council properties back into use, to improve the way in which estates are looked after and generally to help improve the economic, environmental and social conditions of the area.
The creation of housing action trusts provides an opportunity to target resources on some of the areas where major concentrations of poor quality public sector stock create very intractable problems. I therefore hope that the local authorities concerned will co-operate fully in setting up housing action trusts so that tenants can gain as soon as possible from the benefits that they will bring. My right hon. Friend is writing to the leaders of the councils concerned today about the proposals. He is also writing to all local residents who might be affected.