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Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for what reasons the north-east regional capital allocation in private- sector housing stock improvement and regeneration has been reduced; what representations she has received on this reduction; and if she will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 2 March 2007]: The north-east regional capital allocation for private-sector housing stock improvement and regeneration was reduced to reflect a shortfall in anticipated funding drawn from right-to-buy receipts. Even after the reduction, the north-east share of the regional housing pot represents an increase of 2 per cent. in comparison with 2006-07.
All regions, except the north-west (which did not receive a year-on-year increase in its regional housing pot allocations for 2006-07 and 2007-08) have had their allocation reduced by comparable amounts. The regional assemblies were informed of the reduced allocations in November 2006. The one representation received on the reductions was a letter from the North East assembly dated 19 February 2007.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the cost of achieving her target for rented housing to be brought in line with decent homes standards. 
The decent homes target also includes reducing the number of vulnerable households living in non-decent homes in the private sector. As private landlords will determine what work they want to undertake and to what standard it is completed, we do not provide estimates of the costs of achieving the target for the private rented sector.
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the progress being made in bringing 70 per cent. of private rented sector housing up to the decent homes standard by 2010. 
Yvette Cooper: Good progress is being made. Of the 3.2 million vulnerable households living in the private sector in 2005, 66 per cent. (2.1 million) live in decent homes, according to the English house condition survey 2005). This percentage has increased from 57 per cent. in 2001 and 43 per cent. in 1996.
Mike Wood: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how the (a) impact, (b) quality and (c) delivery of works undertaken to meet the decent homes target will be (i) monitored and (ii) evaluated. 
Yvette Cooper: On 21 February the Department published a research report entitled Decent Homes in the Social Sector (www.communities.gov.uk/housing). The research was undertaken by the Building Research Establishment to help improve our understanding of what work local authorities and registered social landlords are doing to make homes decent and the impact of such work. We also monitor the progress of delivery of decent homes through the English house condition survey and the statistical returns made by social landlords.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many vulnerable households were living in non-decent homes in (a) 1996, (b) 2001, (c) 2004 and (d) the latest year for which figures are available, broken down by tenure. 
Yvette Cooper: The following table, from the English house condition survey, provides a breakdown of vulnerable households by decent and non-decent homes and by tenure. Vulnerable households are defined as those in receipt of principal means tested and disability related benefits, as listed in A Decent Home: Definition and guidance for implementationJune 2006 update.
|Vulnerable households in non-decent homes by tenure, 1996 to 2005|
|Owner occupied||Private rented||All private||All social|
|Owner occupied||Private rented||All private||All social|
| Note: The net increase in private sector vulnerable households living in non-decent homes means that, while the proportion has continued to show good progress, the number (and therefore overall costs to tackle the problems) have made only modest improvement since 2001. Source: English House Condition Survey, Communities and Local Government.|
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she expects the technical guidance on how to comply with the code for sustainable homes to be published. 
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 27 February 2007]: We do not hold figures by parliamentary constituency but by local authority. In Warrington, there are 8,954 homes owned by the unitary authority and 3,812 by registered social landlords. All these homes are included in the decent homes programme and at present 2,017 council homes and 96 RSL homes are still below the decent homes standard.
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will make a statement on the Office of Fair Trading's options for pricing access to local authority search information. 
Yvette Cooper: The Government accepted the recommendations in the OFTs report, Property SearchesA Market Study, in a response published in December 2005. The study provided two options for the pricing access to local authority (LA):
(a) that central Government set uniform fees (this could be at a price that reflects the costs of an efficient LA or an average LA or alternatively the fee could be set at zero); or
(b) that LAs set their own fees at a level that covers their costs.
The Government's response stated that they favoured the option of allowing LAs to set their own fees but wanted to ensure it was a valid option before any final decision. This decision would be informed through the collection and analysis of detailed information on all the elements that make up a property search. The consultation paper, HIP Update: Toward 1 June, published on 25 January, announced that we will seek tenders for the production of a final charging methodology and guidance by independent experts to give a clear basis for taking that decision.
Yvette Cooper: Planning policies for sport and active recreation are primarily set out in planning policy guidance note 17, Planning for Open Space Sport and Recreation. It contains planning policies and advice on the protection of existing sports and recreational facilities from development as well as planning for new facilities.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will take account of whether the bulbs used in streetlights in the local authority area are energy efficient in determining the level of revenue support grant for that authority. 
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will ensure that arrangements are made for an early hearing of the appeal against South Hams district council's refusal of planning permission for a mini-village of yurts at Allaleigh and against the enforcement notice requiring the occupants of the site to move out. 
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 2 February 2007]: It has been necessary to postpone the inquiry that had been set up to consider the planning appeal on 1 March 2007, to enable the enforcement appeal made in relation to the same site, which covers essentially the same matters, to be heard at the same time. While the delay to the planning appeal is regrettable, this course of action will prevent the need for all parties to present similar arguments twice. The main parties have been offered 17 July as the opening day for the inquiry into both appeals.
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