To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to his oral answer of 4 February 2004, Official Report, column 748, when he expects that council houses remaining in the ownership and management of local authorities will meet the decency standard; and if he will make available the resources necessary to achieve his estimate.
Local housing authorities that have not already taken advantage of stock transfer, Private Finance Initiative (PFI) or setting up an Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) for all of their housing stock must complete an appraisal of the options available to deliver decent homes, including stock retention, by July 2005. Until this process is complete it will not be possible to state how many authorities will decide that stock retention in terms of ownership and management is the best option for delivering decent homes. Local authorities will only be able to choose this option if they have sufficient resources from mainstream housing funding to deliver by 2010. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has no plans to make additional resources available outside of the three additional investment options—stock transfer, PFI and ALMO.