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Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated into the costs and benefits of moving to near zero space heating buildings in advance of the next review of Part L of the Building Regulations; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Whitehead: My Department has not commissioned specific research on moving to near-zero space heating buildings. Work on the next review of Part L is in progress and the aim continues to be to see what further contribution can be made to achieving carbon dioxide emission targets while keeping the Building Regulations proportionate, cost-effective, reasonably flexible for designers and unlikely to cause construction defects.
Once the proposals have been developed an evaluation of the benefits and the costs, including the environmental costs, of further reducing the energy consumption of new and existing buildings will be carried out, but it is unlikely that the results will indicate national regulatory requirements should demand near-zero space heating. However the regulatory requirements do not, and will not, prevent builders from adopting better performance criteria, including near-zero space heating if it suits particular circumstances.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 25 March 2002, Official Report, ref 46109, if he will place in the Library copies of the latest housing revenue account business plans submitted by local authorities. 
Ms Keeble: Data from all English local authorities' business plans are already placed on the Department's website, including for example the number of decent and non-decent homes in the authority's stock, at http:// www.housing.dtlr.gov.uk/local/hipoi/index.htm. Should the hon. Member wish to consult individual business plans, they can be obtained from the authority concerned.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many recorded rough sleepers in the City of York there were in each year since it became a unitary authority. 
10 Apr 2002 : Column 78W
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how much central Government funding has been allocated to the City of York council for council house modernisation in each year since it became a unitary authority. 
Ms Keeble: Total housing allocations made to the City of York council as annual capital guidelines, capital receipts initiative allocations (199798 to 19992000) and through the major repairs allowance (200102 onwards) are as follows:
1. Except for the major repairs allowance, allocations are not made specifically for works to council housing.
2. From 200001, the annual capital guideline includes resources for private sector renewal that had previously been allocated separately, reflecting our policy of giving local authorities more opportunity to determine their expenditure priorities locally.
3. With the creation of the all-service single capital pot, first used for the allocations for 200203, only 95 per cent. of programme resources were allocated as annual capital guidelines, the remainder being in the single pot discretionary element, allocated on the basis of cross-service performance and the quality of capital strategies and asset management plans. The City of York obtained an allocation of £522k through this mechanism, which it is able to spend according to local priorities.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what grants have been made to housing associations providing housing in York by the Housing Corporation in each year since 1996. 
Ms Keeble: The table shows the amounts approved under the Approved Development Programme (ADP) and Local Authority Social Housing Grant (LASHG) for housing associations in York for each year from 199697 to 200001; and the allocations made for 200102 and 200203.
10 Apr 2002 : Column 79W
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how the funding for new affordable homes announced in the Social Exclusion Unit's National Strategy Action Plan for Neighbourhood Renewal has been allocated, broken down by (a) the amount, (b) the recipient and (c) the purpose of each award. 
Ms Keeble: The Government are investing an additional £872 million in affordable housing through the Housing Corporation's Approved Development Programme over the three years from 200102 to 200304, as set out in the National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal Action Plan.
The Housing Corporation's Investment Bulletin lists the amounts allocated to each registered social landlord receiving over £1 million in 200102 and states whether the grant was to provide accommodation for rent, home ownership or works to RSL stock (to bring units back into use). I have placed copies of the Bulletin in the Libraries of the House.
The Corporation's Investment Bulletin for the 200203 Approved Development Programme will be available shortly. I will arrange for a copy to be sent to the hon. Member as well as place copies of the 200203 Bulletin in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what pilot schemes are in place to support the introduction of choice-based lettings policies by social landlords; and how much money has been spent on each of these schemes. 
Ms Keeble: The Government are grant funding 27 local authority led pilot schemes to test different approaches to choice-based lettings policies for social housing. The pilot schemes are at various stages of development. The table sets out the amount of grant funding which each scheme (identified by its lead local authority) has received to date.
|Lead authority||Grant received to date|
|Bath and NE Somerset||38,533|
|Blackburn with Darwen||24,485|
|Brighton and Hove||86,789|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||104,179|
10 Apr 2002 : Column 80W
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to the answer of 25 March 2002, ref. 46220, on social dwellings, if he will initiate discussions with the devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to achieve a common UK definition of a decent home. 
Ms Keeble: The Government have no plans to initiate any process that could lead to changing the definition. It is important at this stage that social landlords have certainty about the definition of the standard so that they can carry through their plans to meet it.
It is a matter for the devolved Administrations whether they wish to use the decent home definition. The Northern Ireland Housing Executive are planning to assess their stock against the decent home standard when the results of their 2001 House Condition Survey are available. The Welsh Assembly Government have developed the 'Welsh Housing Quality Standard' for housing in Wales, starting with the social housing sector. In the medium term the Scottish Executive are likely to develop an index of housing quality for assessing the quality of the Scottish stock.
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