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Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether local district councils may build (a) council housing and (b) old age pensioner bungalows for rent. 
Keith Hill: There is no bar on local district councils building council housing or old age pensioner bungalows for rent. However an authority will need to demonstrate that this provides good value for money compared with provision through a Registered Social Landlord
Matthew Green: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the progress of the framework being drawn up by the Housing Corporation and the London boroughs for the pooling of nominations for new lettings across London on a sub-regional basis. 
Keith Hill: A draft Nominations Protocol has been produced which sets out the principles which it is recommended that the five sub regions in London adopt for dividing up nominations for schemes funded by the Housing Corporation on a sub-regional basis. This was issued for consultation in February 2004. The responses to consultation are being considered by a steering group comprising representatives from the Housing Corporation, Association of London Government (ALG) and London Housing Federation (LHF). A finalised Protocol will be issued in the summer.
A good practice guide on nominations in general and the sharing of sub regional nominations in particular will be published at the same time.
A study of existing systems for tracking nominations within the London boroughs has been completed and a report will be issued shortly. This will set out the limited
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existing technological options available and advise on the costs of implementing a range of options for an electronic tracking system which could operate within and across sub regions.
Matthew Green: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate he has made of (a) newly-arising need for social housing and (b) the backlog of need for social housing. 
Keith Hill: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister does not make national or regional estimates of housing need, as such estimates are unable to reflect adequately the diversity of needs and priorities at the local level. In the past, such estimates have led to the provision of new housing in areas where this did not represent the best use of resources. However, we have accepted in principle the case made by Kate Barker in her Review of Housing Supply in the UK that a significant increase in social housing is needed and will be working through the detailed implications over the next 18 months.
Regional Housing Boardsin drawing up Regional Housing StrategiesRegional Planning Bodies and local authorities are the main bodies charged with making assessments of housing need in order to carry out their housing functions.
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister does collect and publish data from local authorities on decisions made on applications for assistance under the homelessness legislation and the number of households in temporary accommodation.