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Home Information Packs

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether, in the course of preparing policy on home information packs, his officials have visited the USA to inquire into the practice of soil testing for oil pollution as part of real estate transactions; and whether they have corresponded on this subject with officials in the USA. [209639]

Keith Hill: No such visit or correspondence have taken place. Consideration is being given to appropriate means of including in home information packs information about contamination, including oil pollution. This would help ensure that home buyers and sellers are aware of any contamination problems affecting the property.

Home Ownership

Ms Buck: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) if he will break down the low cost home ownership units planned for Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea in the Housing Corporation's 2004–06 approved developed programme by (a) one-bed, (b) two-bed, (c) three-bed and (d) four-bed or more; [201964]

(2) if he will break down the low cost home ownership units planned for Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea in the Housing Corporation's 2004–06 Approved Developed Programme by (a) conventional shared ownership, (b) Do-It-Yourself shared ownership, (c) Homebuy and (d) other forms of low cost home ownership. [201965]

Keith Hill [pursuant to his reply, 7 December 2004, Official Report, c. 458–59W:] On low cost home ownership in Westminster, and Kensington and Chelsea, I stated that 155 ADP Homebuy Market Purchase dwellings were allocated to the Northern zone, which includes Westminster, Islington, Haringey, Enfield, Camden and Barnet. The current figure is 20 allocated to Westminster alone. The figure I gave of 296 Keyworker Homebuy allocations to the Northern zone should be 340.

For Kensington and Chelsea I omitted to give the 16 Homebuy dwellings allocated to the borough itself; and the figure of 296 I gave for the Western zone of seven
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authorities (Kensington and Chelsea, Hounslow, Hillingdon, Harrow, Hammersmith and Fulham, Ealing and Brent) should have been 334.

A copy of the amended table for all London boroughs has been placed in the Library of the House.


Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many permanent dwellings were constructed in the United Kingdom in each year since 1979 by (a) registered social landlords, (b) local authorities and (c) private enterprise; and how many were in England in each case. [207967]

Keith Hill: Annual house building information for the United Kingdom and England from 1979 onwards is published in "Housing Statistics 2004" (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) in Tables 2.5a and 2.5c. The tables are also on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's website:

Ms Oona King: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the availability of an environmental health officer to identify an unlicensed house in multiple occupation (HMO) with three or more storeys and five or more occupants as compared to identifying an unlicensed HMO with three or more storeys. [209011]

Keith Hill: The identifying of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) requiring licensing is a matter for individual local authorities. There are a number of sources available to them, including council tax and housing benefit data. Local housing authorities will also have powers to require owners, managers and occupiers of HMOs to provide information for the purpose of determining the number of occupants. Failure to provide such information without reasonable excuse will be a criminal offence.

Ms Oona King: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister which organisations support establishing the threshold for the mandatory house in multiple occupation licensing scheme of three or more storeys and five or more occupants. [209012]

Keith Hill: In response to the consultation on the draft Housing Bill the following organisations supported the establishment of the threshold for mandatory licensing of houses in multiple occupation at three or more storeys with five or more occupants (comprised in two or more households):

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The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will have a clearer idea of the range of views on the proposed threshold following responses to the consultation paper "Licensing in the Private Rented Sector—Consultation on the Implementation of HMO Licensing".

The closing date for responses is 9 February.

Ms Oona King: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what threshold for the mandatory house in multiple occupation licensing scheme was proposed by (a) the Local Government Association and (b) the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. [209013]

Keith Hill: In response to the consultation on the draft Housing Bill, the Local Government Association proposed that mandatory licensing should apply to houses in Multiple Occupation of two or more storeys and occupied by four or more persons. The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health suggested that guidance should be issued on the scope of licensing, but proposed no specific threshold for mandatory licensing.
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Mr. Pike: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what recent discussions his Department has had with the housing renewal pathfinder projects regarding (a) progress to date and (b) future funding levels; and if he will make a statement. [209412]

Keith Hill: Officials in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister hold regular meetings with all the pathfinders to discuss progress to date and funding. This spring pathfinders will be invited to submit scheme updates to inform allocation of resources in the SR04 spending period (from April 2006 to March 2008).

IT Projects

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list his Department's IT projects in each year since 1997, broken down by (a) amount spent, (b) purpose, (c) cost of over-run and (d) time of over-run. [205793]

Yvette Cooper: The following IT projects have been completed since the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was created in May 2002:
ProjectAmount spent (£) PurposeCost over budget (£) Over-runs
Planning Portal3,107,000To provide a one-stop-shop for the planning system in England and Wales with the aim of improving the planning system and adding value to the related services77,000Three months
Renewal Net2,500,000To deliver a website that presents high quality evidence-based information about what works and what doesn't in meeting floor targets so that more practitioners will take an evidence-based approachNoneNone
Local e-Government Programme Website142,000A website to promote the Local e-Government National Strategy and assist local authorities to e-enable 100 per cent. of priority services by December 2005NoneNone
Buy-Net (e-Ordering)2,500,000To implement an e-ordering solution for ODPM using technology available from the Department's SAP accounting systemNoneThree months,
but project
remained within
Corporate Information Infrastructure1,076,000The project followed a review that found that significant improvements could be made, and important benefits secured, by creating a new directory to allow staff information to be shared from one virtual pool across all the IT systems that need it420,00011 months
GOSAP837,000To extend ODPM's central SAP accounting system to the Government Office network50,000None
ASSAP386,000To separate the DTLR accounting system for ODPM and DfT following the creation of the separate DepartmentsNoneNone
Social Exclusion Unit website69,000To replace an existing website with one that was functionally richer and more accessible, and allows the Social Exclusion Unit to communicate more effectively with its audiencesNoneNone
Total£4.9 million£0.5 million
Housing Grants (LogasNet)3,308,000To provide a web-based system to assist with the processing of claims for, and the calculation of, housing subsidies and grants for local authorities in England totalling some £4.3 billion a year as a replacement for an earlier out of date systemNoneNone
Floor Targets Interactive170,000To establish a public access website, which provides information to Neighbourhood Renewal practitioners and other wider audiences on the achievement of floor targetsNoneNone
New Deal for Communities Performance Managements130,000To provide an online centralised reporting mechanism whereby performance information on the New Deal for Communities programme can be collectedNoneNone
Local Government Intervention Division Database50,000The database maintains a central record of the history and nature of Government intervention in local authorities, in order to facilitate inter-departmental cooperation in managing local authority performanceNoneNone
Total£3.7 million

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