Social Rented Housing

Department for Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 23rd February 2015.

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

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what was spent on the Decent Homes Programme in each year since 2005.

Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis Minister of State (Communities and Local Government)

Holding answer received on 27 October 2014

The last Administration failed to meet its Decent Homes target. It pledged in 2000 that: “We... are committed to ensuring that all social housing is of a decent standard within 10 years” (DETR, Quality and Choice: A Decent Home for All: The Housing Green Paper, April 2000, p.11). But 16 per cent of local authority homes were not decent by 2010.

That last Government also cut the Decent Homes programme by £150 million in July 2009, cannibalising the housing programme to pay for other policies. I also observe the last Prime Minister planned to cut back housing investment, remarking before the general election: “Housing is essentially a private sector activity. Let's be honest about this... I don't see a need for us to continue with such a big renovation programme” (BBC Newsnight, 30 April 2010).

However, the Coalition Government is investing £2.3 billion from 2011 to 2016 to improve the quality of existing social housing through the Decent Homes programme and large-scale voluntary transfer gap funding The funding is for clearing the backlog, and therefore is less than under the last Administration – as by intention, there should be an increasingly smaller number of homes to pay to refurbish.

The table below shows spending since 2005.

£ million

2004-05

£578

2005-06

£864

2006-07

£814

2007-08

£1,005

2008-09

£1,017

2009-10

£1,079

2010-11

£756

2011-12

£494

2012-13

£563

2013-14

£631

2014-15

est. £532

NB. The figure for 14-15 contains £15 million funding for South Tyneside which was brought forward from the 2015-16 allocation.

The number of non-decent local authority dwellings across England has fallen from 292,000 in 1 April 2010 to 146,000 in April 2014, with a forecast of a further fall to 113,000 by April 2015. This shows clear progress in refurbishing these homes.

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