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Housing Reform: Media

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 29th November 2011.

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Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the oral statement of 21 November 2011, Official Report, column 43, on housing reform, if he will publish the media strategy in relation to his announcement listing all media interviews the Minister for Housing and Local Government carried out prior to the oral statement.

Photo of Grant Shapps Grant Shapps The Minister for Housing

holding answer 25 November 2011

The planned publication of the Government's national housing strategy, Laying the Foundations, on the morning of Monday 21 November, generated a significant amount of media interest. Prior notice was given to the House that a written statement was to be made on housing. As a result of this interest, as the Minister for Housing and Local Government, I accepted a number of requests for interviews from national and regional broadcasters on the morning of publication.

A number of the fundamental measures contained in the housing strategy had been announced to the House previously. I refer the hon. Member in particular to my written statement of 4 April 2011, Hansard, column 46WS, announcing details of New Homes Bonus funding to provide local authorities with a real incentive to deliver housing growth; the written statement from my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government of 10 October 2011, Hansard, column 1WS, which outlined our reforms to the right to buy, funding to tackle empty homes, the proposed introduction of a “pay to stay scheme” for social tenants on incomes of greater than £100,000 per annum and work to release public sector land to support the building of 100,000 new homes; and the statement of 7 November 2011, Hansard, column 9WS, which announced details of the Government's £500 million Growing Places Fund to support infrastructure and unlock stalled housing sites.

Given these statements, it was quite legitimate to engage in a public debate whilst making clear, as I did, that full details of new policy proposals would only be released later in the day after the House had been notified.

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