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Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions her Department has had with other Government Departments on a cross-departmental response to the possible effect of European Union enlargement on homelessness services. 
Yvette Cooper: Communities and Local Government officials have met with the Home Office, Department for Work and Pensions, Department of Health and the Cabinet Office to discuss a cross-departmental response to homelessness among Eastern Europeans from the new accession countries. Communities and Local Government and the Home Office have given £497,000 to date to central London local authorities to support their work with the small number of people from the accession states who end up sleeping rough on the streets. The Home Office recently announced further funding of £107,000 in 2007-08 for Westminster city council.
The Improvement and Development Agency and the Audit Commission are also taking forward work on the Government's Sharing Migration Good Practice programme which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced last December.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what (a) statutory provisions and (b) departmental guidelines provide authorisation for action by housing associations in respect of (i) refurbishment of their existing stock, (ii) new build and (iii) replacement of existing stock by higher density new build; and what financial incentives are provided to housing associations in each case. 
Sections 18, 20, 21, 27 and 28 of the Housing Act, 1996 set out the statutory provisions to provide and
recover grant via the Housing Corporation to registered social landlords (RSLs) and other developers in respect of housing activities as specified under Section 2 of the Housing Act 1996 of refurbishment of existing stock, new build and replacement of existing stock.
The Department has not published guidelines on the conduct of these activities but approves the Housing Corporations prospectus for the Affordable Housing Programme. More specifically Housing Corporation policy on providing grant is as follows:
(i) for work to existing stock: funding for maintenance is available only for pre-1988 stock and is provided only exceptionally taking account of the level of housing associations own resources and their ability to fund such works themselves. For re-improvements to existing stock, funding will be available only if the improvements meet a regionally identified priority need (such as for supported or sheltered housing);
(ii) for new build, grant is awarded based on a competition, for schemes that meet regionally identified priorities, following a value for money assessment by the Corporation;
(iii) for replacement of existing stock by higher density new build, grant is awarded based on a competition, for schemes that meet regionally identified priorities, following a value for money assessment by the Corporation. Additionally, in some regions (those where this is supported by the Regional Housing Board advice) there is a requirement that replacement schemes should show a net gain in the number of social rented properties.
The Department also enters into gap funding grant arrangements with RSLs who take negatively valued housing stock through voluntary transfer from local authorities. Current guidance is contained within the Departments published Housing Transfer Manual 2005 (and 2006 Supplement).
In June 2006 the Department issued A Decent Home: Definition and Guidance for Implementation for all local authorities and RSLs. The guidance explains a number of Decent Homes policy amendments and seeks to clarify issues that have arisen in the implementation of the programme. It also sets out how we see social landlords building on the success of the programme working more flexibly to go beyond the Decent Homes programme to undertake more radical solutions to transform some of the poorest neighbourhoods into mixed sustainable communities.
Yvette Cooper: Information is available on numbers of households rather than people. However, the number of households on the waiting list for social housing in (a) Coventry and (b) the west midlands, as at 1 April each year, is published on the Communities and Local Government website in Table 600. The links for this table are as follows and the table has been placed in the Library of the House.
Local authorities in England report the numbers of households on their housing waiting list as at 1 April in their annual Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix returns. Not everyone on the waiting list is necessarily in urgent housing need. The waiting list includes those who consider social housing as their preferred or one of a number of housing options, and those who decide to get onto the waiting list ladder before they need or want to move houseparticularly where the priority system is heavily based on waiting time.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assumptions her Department has made about electric heating in the context of the Governments zero carbon housing plan; what discussions she has had about the role of electric heating in a long-term housing policy; and if she will take steps to ensure electric heating is retained as part of a long-term sustainable energy and housing strategy. 
Angela E. Smith: Electric heating will always have a place in homes. The industry has indicated it will continue to improve efficiencies and innovate in conjunction with the other building interests and the electricity supply industries so that annual carbon burdens can be reduced while still providing the internal environments that householders need.
Building regulations set overall performance standards expressed in terms of annual carbon emissions. They do not prescribe means of meeting these standards. The electric heating industry was extensively consulted in advance of the amendments to the building regulations that came into effect in 2006 and I expect that they will respond to our consultation on Building a Greener Future published last month. The consultation proposes further amendments of the building regulations in 2010, 2013 and 2016 and in the normal way there will be detailed technical consultations before changes are made.
Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much the Liveability Fund spent in each region of England in the most recent year for which figures are available, broken down by programme. 
Yvette Cooper: The Liveability Fund provided £89 million over three years (2003-06) to support local authorities to achieve innovations in transforming the quality of public spaces. Expenditure of the fund in its final year, 2005-06, amounted to £37.5 million, the regional break down of which is set out in the following table.
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much previously designated industrial land was transferred to residential use in each of the last 10 years. 
|Total land use changed from industry to residential (hectares)||Percentage of all land changing to residential that was previously industry|
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest five hectares.
2. There is an inevitable time-lag between land use change occurring and it being recorded, therefore data are constantly being updated.
3. The data in the table above are based on records received from Ordnance Survey up to September 2006.
4. 1999 data are incomplete for absolute amounts but percentages are robust.
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