[Mr Peter Bone in the Chair] — Decent Homes

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm on 27th January 2011.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Clive Betts Clive Betts Chair, Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, Chair, Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee 2:30 pm, 27th January 2011

I thank my right hon. Friend for her remarks. Clearly, a number of issues are intertwined in that problem. Under the Labour Government's policy, if an ALMO reached two stars or better, it would automatically have access to the funding necessary to bring its homes up to a decent standard. In the comprehensive spending review, the money available for decent homes was cut by about 50%. Authorities that have not completed their programmes are entitled to bid for funding, although if they have fewer than 10% of their homes that are not decent at present, they are not likely to get any funding. If up to 20% of their homes are deemed not to be decent, they are likely to get only half the funding that they previously might have been entitled to.

As I understand it, as Lewisham Homes has not started its decent homes programme, it will still be entitled to bid for the total amount, but as the total is 50% less than it was, how much it will get is still open to question. Perhaps the Minister will be able to address that issue in his summing up.

To be fair to the Government-this is an interesting matter of debate- they have relaxed the rule that only two-star ALMOs can get funding. That means that the previous situation in which a tenant could be penalised and not have the work done on their home because their landlord was not performing properly will be removed. On the other hand, the requirement to have two stars as a basic to obtain the funding has driven up housing management standards as a whole, and therefore has achieved considerable success.