Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 300-301)



  300. Taken on the role. Does it have the skills to do it?
  (Ms Lavis) I think it does have the skills to do it. I think its concern is whether it has the resources to do it as effectively as perhaps it would like to. The main one must be to do with the Rural Programme, although we do need the planning system first to bring forward the sites. The Housing Corporation's funding, although it has now doubled, will still only be at a level that it was in 1997. The other issue is the issue about market towns. They do have to compete with all other sectors of the Housing Corporation's funding, except that little bit which is for the Rural Programme, and there is an issue about whether market towns are able to compete and draw down the resources that they need.
  (Mr Wakeford) It is a dilemma that one has quite often in rural areas. Because you do something on a smaller scale, the overheads that are associated with that are that much greater. So, for the Housing Corporation to address some of these smaller sites, is actually disproportionate. It would be much easier to do them in numerical targets in urban areas. The challenge in rural proofing is to ensure that targets are met to meet all the needs of people in society not just those in urban areas.

  301. But you do think the Housing Corporation is the appropriate body to do it rather than yourselves?
  (Mr Wakeford) Absolutely.

  Chairman: On that note, can I thank you very much for your evidence. Could we have the next set of witnesses, please.

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