Housing: Construction

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 24th November 2010.

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Photo of Julie Hilling Julie Hilling Labour, Bolton West

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will bring forward proposals for alternative measures to replace regional housing grants for the purpose of supporting regional housing; and what recent representations he has received on the use of funds from existing regional housing grants.

Photo of Grant Shapps Grant Shapps The Minister for Housing

In the spending review we announced investment of over £6.5 billion in housing. This includes over £2 billion to make existing social homes decent and almost £4.5 billion investment in new affordable housing to deliver up to 150,000 affordable homes. We are giving housing associations much more flexibility on rents and use of assets, so our aspiration is to deliver as many as homes as possible through our investment and reforms. We will be publishing details on the new delivery model in the new year.

On 11 November we announced councils and their arm's length management organisations that have a significant backlog of decent homes work will be eligible for funding from a new single decent homes funding stream. The Homes and Communities Agency are consulting on proposals for allocating this funding.

Funding for private sector renewal, formerly part of the regional housing pot, is now a matter for local authorities. We have given them significantly greater freedom and control over budgets. They can continue to provide this support where it fits with local priorities.

We have also launched a consultation on the New Homes Bonus which will commence in April 2011 and will match fund the additional council tax on new homes and properties brought back into use for each of the following six years with an additional amount for affordable homes. The consultation is available at:

www.communities.gov.uk/publications/housing/newhomesbonusconsult

This will be a powerful, simple, transparent and permanent incentive for local authorities to increase their aspirations for housing growth. We have set aside £1 billion of funding and further funding will come from formula grant.

Some representations in the form of ministerial correspondence have been received in relation to private sector renewal funding.

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