Previous Section Index Home Page

19 Feb 2007 : Column 503W—continued

Copies of the links have been placed in the Library of the House.

Housing provided for social rent makes up part of the affordable housing supply with other dwellings being provided through low-cost home ownership schemes. In the last 10 years 182 affordable dwellings have been provided in Eastbourne through low cost home ownership schemes.

Housing: Grants

Dr. Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether she has plans to include quality of decision-making as a factor in the awarding of the housing and planning delivery grant. [121542]

Yvette Cooper: The Government have recently consulted on a proposed Housing and Planning Delivery Grant that would reward local authorities for delivering sustainable communities through a sound Local Delivery Framework. We are expecting to outline our intentions on HPDG in the summer.


19 Feb 2007 : Column 504W

Housing: Islington

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions she has had with the London borough of Islington on their proposed sale of properties, the value of properties proposed for sale and the future of their social housing programme. [119182]

Yvette Cooper: Ministers in Communities and Local Government have not met with the London borough of Islington regarding their proposed sale of properties or the future of their social housing programme.

Islington is currently developing its Local Development Framework, which includes the Core Strategy with policy on housing need. This must take account of Government policies for the provision of housing, including affordable housing, and must be in general conformity with the London Plan’s policies on the provision of affordable housing.

Housing: North West Region

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many affordable homes were built in (a) Warrington and (b) the North West as a result of section 106 agreements in each year since 1997. [117899]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 1 February 2007]: Total numbers of affordable dwellings completions as a result of Section 106 agreements in Warrington and the North West are as follows:

Affordable dwellings—Section 106 completions
Warrington North West

2000-01

0

781

2001-02

69

785

2002-03

14

733

2003-04

155

812

2004-05

43

631

2005-06

139

1,097

Source: Local authorities (Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix)

These figures include all dwellings funded solely or partly through Section 106 agreements and are as reported by local authorities through the Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA) as at 1 April 2006. Information on Section 106 housing has been collected since 2000-01 and no information for prior years is held centrally.

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much public subsidy was given to the building of affordable housing in (a) Warrington and (b) the North West in each year since 1997. [117901]

Yvette Cooper: [holding answer 1 February 2007]: The following table shows expenditure and estimated expenditure through the Housing Corporation's Affordable Housing Programme, Local Authority Social Housing Grant and Safer Communities Supported Housing Fund for Warrington and North West region in each year since 1997-98.


19 Feb 2007 : Column 505W
£ million
Warrington North West Region

1997-98

0.8

97.3

1998-99

1.3

90.8

1999-2000

0.7

97.0

2000-01

3.9

94.5

2001-02

0.9

81.5

2002-03

1.7

93.9

2003-04

0.3

113.1

2004-05

0.4

112.2

2005-06

0.2

114.8

Source: Housing Corporation

Housing: Solihull

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the potential loss of greenbelt land in Solihull if the West Midlands Regional Assembly agrees that 570,000 new homes should be built in the region over the next 25 years. [118455]

Yvette Cooper: The amount and distribution of new housing to be provided in the West Midlands region over the next 25 years is currently being considered through the revision of the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS). As part of the revision, the West Midlands Regional Assembly is consulting on options to provide up to 575,000 new homes across the Region. The consultation on the options will inform the Assembly’s decision on how much housing should go in different locations in their preferred option. At this stage, options for housing development in Solihull are between 11,000 and 18,000 new homes; however, it is possible that the final figure for Solihull may be different from these figures depending on the outcome of the consultation. The location and level of housing are a matter for the regional and local planning process. Until these decisions are made it is not possible to say whether there will be any loss of Green Belt in any specific areas in the Region. However, the current RSS would expect to see all other possibilities exhausted before consideration of Green Belt.

Housing: Subsidies

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the answer of 29 January 2007, Official Report, column 4W, on social housing, for what reason most rates of grant have declined between the 2004-06 and 2006-08 programmes; and what measures are in place to ensure that future occupants of subsidised homes receive the benefit of the initial subsidy. [119456]

Yvette Cooper: The Housing Corporation has been engaged in a major programme of work with housing associations to improve value for money and reduce the level of grant required to deliver quality new social housing.

The main reason why most grant rates per home have declined over the two Housing Corporation Affordable Housing Programme bidding rounds 2004-06 and 2006-08 is that the Housing Corporation conducts a bidding process, in negotiation with registered social landlords (RSLs), in order to achieve
19 Feb 2007 : Column 506W
better value for money. The Corporation aims to reduce the costs of provision and the amount of grant provided. This grant reduction has enabled the delivery of additional affordable homes.

Where homes are no longer used for social housing or where a home owner has purchased 100 per cent. of their property initially subsidised by grant the Housing Corporation recovers grants to be used on new schemes. This is achieved by RSLs using Recycled Capital Grants Funds (RCGF) to hold recovered grant plus interest and re-invest it within a certain time. For properties acquired by tenants under Right to Acquire and Voluntary Purchase Grants, RSLs credit Disposal Proceeds Funds with the net proceeds of the sale. These funds are then used to provide replacement properties.

Housing: West Midlands

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) households and (b) children are living in overcrowded housing in (i) Sandwell metropolitan borough council and (ii) the west midlands. [120532]

Yvette Cooper: There are two measures of overcrowding—the statutory definition and the bedroom standard.

Using the bedroom standard and based on the most recent three years of 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06: (a) the estimated number of households in the west midlands who were living in overcrowded accommodation was 58,000 and (b) the estimated number of children who were living in overcrowded accommodation was 96,000. These figures were derived from CLG's ‘Survey of English Housing’.

The only recent estimate of the number of overcrowded households in Sandwell metropolitan borough council is 5,000. This is from an ad hoc report based on combined data from both the ‘Survey of English Housing’ and DWP's ‘Family Resources Survey’ for the three years 2000-01, 2001-02 and 2002-03. Reliable estimates for the number of children living in overcrowded accommodation in Sandwell were not determined.

Reliable estimates of overcrowding based on the statutory standard are not available because the underlying data are not collected systematically. A one-off estimate was made in 2003 that there were approximately 20,000 households across the whole of England that were in conditions of overcrowding that breached the statutory standard. This estimate was based on data from the ‘Survey of English Housing’ for the period 2000-01 to 2002-03 and from the 2001 ‘English House Condition Survey’. However, no further estimate was made of how many children were living in these 20,000 households.

Equivalent estimates for the west midlands and for Sandwell are not available.

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number of long-term empty homes in (a) Sandwell metropolitan borough council and (b) the West Midlands. [120533]


19 Feb 2007 : Column 507W

Yvette Cooper: At October 2005 Sandwell district council reported a total of 2,705 long-term vacant homes.

At October 2005 local authorities within the West Midlands reported a total of 35,703 long-term vacant dwellings.

These figures are based on long-term vacancies greater than six months.

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what funding (a) Sandwell metropolitan borough council and (b) voluntary sector organisations in Sandwell have received from the Homelessness Directorate under the Hostels Improvement Programme. [120534]

Yvette Cooper: The Hostels Capital Improvement Programme (HCIP) will provide over £90 million to around 143 projects in 47 local authority areas in England. In the West Midlands region, five projects have been allocated HCIP funding, totalling £1.39 million.

No funding from the HCIP has been allocated to Sandwell metropolitan borough council or to voluntary sector organisations in Sandwell.

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the total number of lettings in Sandwell metropolitan borough council was (a) in each year between 1997 and the introduction of choice-based letting (CBL) and (b) in each quarter since the introduction of CBL. [120536]

Yvette Cooper: The information is as follows.

Table 1 records the total number of lettings made in the district of Sandwell metropolitan borough council by the local authority (LA) and registered social landlords (RSLs) in each year for the period 1996-97 to 2005-06. Choice-based lettings were introduced in Sandwell MBC during the year 2002-03.

Table 2 records the total number of lettings made by RSLs in each quarter from 2002-03. We do not hold data centrally on lettings by the local authority on a quarterly basis.

Table 1: Total number of lettings in Sandwell MBC by LA and RSLs, 1996-97 to 2005-06
LA RSL Total

1996-97

5,585

1,027

6,612

1997-98

5,502

1,006

6,508

1998-99

4,557

1,142

5,699

1999-2000

4,446

1,040

5,486

2000-01

4,247

1,048

5,295

2001-02

4,380

889

5,269

2002-03

3,809

791

4,600

2003-04

3,834

803

4,637

2004-05

3,584

784

4,368

2005-06

3,317

763

4,080

Source:
Local authority data from Communities and Local Governments’s annual Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix; RSL data from the Housing Corporation’s CORE return.

19 Feb 2007 : Column 508W

Table 2: Total number of RSL lettings in Sandwell MBC, 2002-03 to 2006-07
2002-03 20003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07

1st quarter

200

177

207

196

172

2nd quarter

195

221

195

196

142

3rd quarter

205

210

225

170

4th quarter

191

195

157

201

Total

791

803

784

763

Source:
The Housing Corporation’s CORE return.

Next Section Index Home Page