Sustainable Communities

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:31 pm on 5th February 2003.

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Photo of John Prescott John Prescott Deputy Prime Minister, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Local Government and the Regions, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee 12:31 pm, 5th February 2003

I think that everyone wants to deal with the problems in the inner-city areas that she talks about, and it is clear that housing is needed in both the private and public sectors. My statement referred to the renovation of houses and to new forms of purchase, and more resources have been made available for that. I have reduced the discount on the right to buy in order to deal with precisely the problems that my hon. Friend mentions. All too often, the right to buy leads to the purchasing of more public housing than can actually be replaced. The question is one of balance: the problems in her constituency differ considerably from those in areas outside London. On identifying those areas with very high prices and levels of homelessness, it was noticeable that most are in London, and we intend to deal with that problem.