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5 Mar 2007 : Column 1775Wcontinued
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions her Department has had with the Local Government Association concerning fee setting and access to property information in the context of home information packs; whether areas of disagreement remain; and if she will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: Officials have met on a regular basis with Local Government Association representatives to discuss the implementation of the Office of Fair Tradings report Property SearchesA Market Survey, which made recommendations on fee setting and access to property information. Discussions with the LGA and other stakeholders on these issues will continue through the conveyancing and property searches working group, on which the LGA is represented. I have also met with LGA representatives to discuss progress in the context of home information packs. The LGA and my Department are working closely on the next steps.
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment her Department has made of local authority charges for their searches in relation to the implementation of home information packs. 
Yvette Cooper: The Office of Fair Tradings 2005 study into the market for property searches found that local authorities charge between £59 and £269 for their searches. It is difficult to see how such a large variation can be justified. We are therefore commissioning independent experts to produce fresh guidance on the setting of charges in this area.
The findings from the OFT market study were used by the department to inform the home information packs regulatory impact assessment published in June 2006. This is currently being revised.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 30 January 2007, Official Report, columns 286-87W, on the homebuy scheme, (1) how many Government equity loans provided as part of the open market homebuy scheme have been allocated to individuals; 
(2) what estimate her Department has made of the total value of the private sector equity loans. 
Yvette Cooper: From 1 April 2006 to 31 January 2007 the open market homebuy scheme has provided 1,858 individual Government equity loans, at a total value of £79 million.
On 2 October 2006, this scheme was developed in partnership with four lenders, enabling us to double the number of households helped with Government grant. There have already been at least 109 completions through the expanded scheme, and a further 6,000 purchasers have been accepted as eligible for the scheme.
Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the effect of A2 and A8 migration on (a) homelessness and (b) measures to tackle homelessness in the UK. 
Yvette Cooper: Statistics about English local housing authorities activity under the homelessness legislation are collected and published quarterly. Between May 2004 and September 2006, 615 housing applicants who were nationals of one of the eight eastern European countries that acceded to the EU on 1 May 2004 were accepted as eligible, unintentionally homeless and in priority need, and consequently owed a main homelessness duty by local housing authorities in England. This comprises 0.25 per cent. of the total number of applicants accepted over the 29 month period.
The first set of data covering the period since the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU will be quarter 1 (JanuaryMarch) 2007, which will be available in June.
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.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number of homeless people in (a) England, (b) Greater London, (c) the London borough of Havering and (d) Romford constituency. 
Yvette Cooper: Information about local authorities' actions under homelessness legislation is collected in respect of households, rather than persons, and at local authority rather than constituency level.
This is summarised in a quarterly statistical release on statutory homelessness, the latest of which was published by Communities and Local Government on 11 December. It is available on our website:
Table 3 shows the number of households accepted by local housing authorities as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need (and therefore owed a main homelessness duty), for both England and London. Table 7 shows the number of
households in temporary accommodation arranged under homelessness legislation, again for both England and London.
The supplementary table presents this key information at local authority level, and includes the London borough of Havering. Data is not available at constituency level, but the constituency of Romford falls entirely within Havering.
The duty owed to a person accepted as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need is to secure suitable accommodation. If a settled home is not immediately available, the authority may secure temporary accommodation until a settled home becomes available.
Information is also collected separately by the Department on the number of people who sleep rough, that is, those who are literally roofless on a single night. This information is presented at local authority (rather than constituency) level on our website at:
Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether figures on homelessness provided by local authorities to her Department take into account the number of migrants not entitled to benefits residing in their areas. 
Yvette Cooper: Information about English local housing authorities activity under the homelessness legislation is collected by this Department. These data do not include information about entitlement to social security benefits, for which the Department for Work and Pensions has policy responsibility.
Rough sleeping counts and data on the number of applications for homelessness assistance (including those by ineligible households) include migrants who are not entitled to benefits. Figures on the number of households who are accepted by local authorities as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in
priority need, and therefore owed a main homelessness duty will reflect the fact that migrants who are not entitled to benefits may also not be entitled to homelessness assistance.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government further to her answer of 7 November 2006, Official Report, column 978W, on housing, how much extra investment per dwelling is required to give local authorities the same level of investment per dwelling as under stock transfer; and by how much this sum is greater than if the local authority brought the houses up to decent homes standard. 
Yvette Cooper: The rough estimates of the average levels of expenditure per property over a five year period is for local authorities owning and managing stock is £5,000 and for registered social landlords owning and managing transferred stock is £15,000. Therefore, those retaining management and ownership would require arid extra £10,000 per home to match the level of expenditure of stock transfer RSLs. The difference reflects the scope and scale of work being done under each programme as some stocktransfer RSLs are raising standards higher than the decent homes standard.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the total stock of affordable housing was in (a) rural and (b) non-rural areas in each year since 1980; what each figure represents (i) per 1,000 population and (ii) per 1,000 households; and if she will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: The numbers of social rent homes managed by local authorities and registered social landlords are tabulated as follows by urban and rural local authorities:
|Social rented housing stock (local authority and registered social landlord stock) by urban and rural local authorities( 1,2)|
|(1) Based on the DEFRA Rural Definition (2004)|
(2) Local authority stock is taken from the HSSA 1981 to 1996RSL stock is taken from the HSSA. 2001 and 2006RSL stock is taken from the RSR.
(3) 2006 RSL stock includes self contained units and bed spaces.
(4) Communities and Local Government (formerly ODPM) 2003 based Household/Population Projections and Estimates.
Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA) and the Regulatory Statistical Return(RSR)
Homes for social rent make up only part of the housing stock classified as affordable; the remainder is provided through low-cost home ownership or other sub-market rental products. Between 1 April 1991 and 31 March 2006 43,500 affordable homes were provided in rural areas and 123,000 in urban areas in addition to the social rent dwellings presented in the aforementioned table.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what proportion of eligible people have participated in key worker affordable housing schemes in each year since 2001, broken down by (a) region and (b) homes that are in (i) rural and (ii) non-rural areas; and if she will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: In recent years the Government have funded a number of schemes to offer specific housing assistance to key workers in areas experiencing problems of recruitment and retention difficulties: from April 2001 to March 2006, over 23,000 homes for key workers have been provided through the starter home initiative and key worker living programmes. These include both new homes and provision of equity loans to support purchase of homes on the open market. SHI ran from 2001-04 and was replaced by KWL in April 2004. KWL only operates in the south- east, London and the east of England.
We do not have data on how many key workers might be eligible for the programme so we do not know what proportion of eligible people have participated. The numbers of key workers that received help from key worker housing initiatives in each year since 2001 are provided in the following tables. These tables do not include second key workers helped within a household.
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