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Decent Homes Programme

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 7th July 2010.

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Photo of Rushanara Ali Rushanara Ali Labour, Bethnal Green and Bow 11:30 am, 7th July 2010

What discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on the future funding of the decent homes programme.

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Photo of David Cameron David Cameron The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

First, may I welcome the hon. Lady to the House?

Good quality social housing is vital, especially in areas such as her constituency. It is completely unacceptable today that 58% of the housing in her constituency is not of a decent standard. We have a huge backlog of work to be carried out. We have ploughed £170 million back into social housing schemes this financial year, which the last Government promised but did not fund. Clearly, the decent homes programme will have to be looked at in the spending review, but I understand the force of argument in her constituency particularly.

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Photo of Rushanara Ali Rushanara Ali Labour, Bethnal Green and Bow

I thank the Prime Minister for that reply. Is he aware that some 7,000 council homes in Tower Hamlets still need to be brought up to the decent homes standard? The previous Government committed £220 million towards addressing the problem. Will his Government honour that commitment to my constituents?

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Photo of David Cameron David Cameron The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

As I said, we have filled in some of the black hole left by the last Government because a promise of extra spending was made but the money was not found. While we made the £6 billion-worth of cuts to start sorting out the finances, we used some of the saved money to fill in the black hole so that those social housing schemes could go ahead. Clearly, the decent homes programme is important. We have to make sure that it provides value for money, but her constituency has very great needs, with so many substandard houses.

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