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Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what funding is available for temporary to permanent housing initiatives in the 2006 to 2008 National Affordable Housing Programme in West Suffolk. 
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DLCG) supports innovative schemes which provide settled housing solutions for households in temporary accommodation. Where these schemes offer value for money but require capital investment DCLG would encourage regional housing boards to support bids for Affordable Housing Programme funding.
Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many houses in West Suffolk have had improvements under the Decent Homes Standard scheme; and what the cost of such improvements has been. 
Yvette Cooper: Both St. Edmundsbury borough council and Forrest Heath district council have transferred all of their housing stock to registered social landlords (RSLs), in 2002 and 2004 respectively. At the point of transfer Forest Heath (Kings Forrest RSL) reported 30 non-decent homes and St. Edmundsbury (Havering Housing Partnership) reported 2,795.
Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what restrictions apply to the sale to tenants of housing association homes built as a result of housing association grants. 
The Right to Acquire is a scheme that enables eligible tenants of registered social landlords to buy the home they currently rent. It applies to property built or purchased with public funds, or transferred by a local authority after 1 April 1997. A number of restrictions apply, and we set under part V of the Housing Act 1985 as amended by the Housing Act 2004, the Housing (Right to Acquire) Regulations 1997, or under one of the Housing (Right to Acquire or Enfranchisement) (Designated Rural Areas) Orders 1997.
properties in areas designated as rural by the Secretary of State. These are generally small rural settlements where the population is 3,000 or fewer and where replacing the social housing sold would not be possible.
properties where the landlord has insufficient legal interest ie where the property is a house, a lease with a term less than 21 years and for a flat, a lease with a term less than 50 years;
the landlord is a co-operative housing association;
properties let in connection with employment;
properties designed with special features for letting to people with physical disabilities. To gain exemption the property should be one of a group of properties normally let to people with physical disabilities and a social service or special facility is provided close by wholly or partly to assist the tenants;
properties with special facilities let to tenants who are suffering or have suffered from a mental disorder. As above the property must be one of a group of properties and a social service or special facility must be provided close by wholly or partly to assist the tenants;
properties which are one of a group of properties which it is the practice of the landlord to keep for occupation by persons who have special needs and require intensive housing assistance and such intensive housing assistance is provided either directly or indirectly by the landlord;
properties let to persons of pensionable age. Such properties must be one of a group of properties let to the elderly and have special facilities consisting of or including a resident warden, a non-resident warden with a calling facility and a common room close by;
properties held on Crown tenancies;
properties where the attributable loan debt is equal to or greater that its current market value;
properties that are due to be demolished within 24 months of an RSL serving a final demolition notice, and having followed the prescribed notification process as contained in s182 of the Housing Act 2004.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps the Government have taken to promote the conversion of space above shops into residential use since 1997. 
Yvette Cooper: We have consistently promoted reuse of empty properties including opportunities to convert unoccupied space above shops. We introduced a specific tax incentive for flats above shops conversions in Budget 2001 and have worked with the British Property Federation and other property industry stakeholders to identify barriers that prevent more unoccupied space above shops from being converted.
|Borough||Total vacant homes|
| Source: Council Tax Base 1 (CTB1) returns.|
Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many dwellings there were in Bournemouth in (a) 1997 and (b) the latest year for which figures are available. 
Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA) and Council Tax Base 1 (CTB1) return to DCLG
Council Tax Base 1 (CTB1) return to DCLG
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent discussions (a) she, (b) her Ministers and (c) her officials have had with the Ministry of Defence on local connection for the purpose of entitlement to social housing. 
Yvette Cooper: There have as yet been no discussions between the Secretary of State and her Ministers and the Ministry of Defence on this issue. However, there are ongoing discussions between the two Departments at official level.
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 24 July 2006]: A table showing the number of vacant dwellings as reported by each local authority in England, in each year from 1997 to 2005, has been placed in the Library of the House. The figures presented are for all vacant dwellings, including dwellings that have been empty for less than six months, some for less than one month.
James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many new homes have been built on (a) brownfield and (b) greenfield land in (i) Rochford district council area, (ii) Southend-on-Sea borough council and (iii) Rochford and Southend East constituency in each year since 1997. 
|Rochford district council|
|Number||Percentage on brownfield||Percentage on greenfield|
|Southend-on-Sea borough council|
|Number||Percentage on brownfield||Percentage on greenfield|
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