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3 Sep 2007 : Column 1670W—continued

The Housing Green Paper set out proposals to increase housing and also affordable housing in every region. Further details of the regional breakdown of investment will be set out later in the year.

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many affordable homes were built in Suffolk in each year since 1997. [150541]

Mr. Iain Wright: The number of new build affordable dwellings built on behalf of Suffolk local authorities since 1997-98 is in the following table. Affordable dwellings are defined as social rent and intermediate housing e.g. low cost home ownership.

Number of dwellings



















Source: Housing Corporation

New build registered social landlord and council dwellings only make up part of the affordable supply, the remainder being acquired by registered social landlords. Between 1997-98 and 2005-06, acquisitions by registered social landlords numbered 1,737, taking the total affordable housing provision in Suffolk to 4,862 over the period.

Suffolk is defined as the local authorities of Babergh, Forest Heath, Ipswich, Mid Suffolk, St. Edmundsbury, Suffolk Coastal and Waveney.

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to increase the availability of affordable housing in the south east. [151784]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 23 July 2007]: We have published a Housing Green Paper which sets out the Government's plans for the level of affordable housing to be delivered in the years covered by the Comprehensive Spending Review.

Regional assemblies will be asked for their advice on housing spending priorities in their areas. This will include levels of spend on different elements of the National Affordable Housing Programme and spatial distribution. This advice will be provided in the context of work which has already been done by the regional assemblies as part of the preparation of Regional Spatial Strategies in their role as regional planning bodies

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Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will put restrictions on the re-sale of the £60,000 starter homes launched by the former Deputy Prime Minister to avoid profiteering and retain the houses in the affordable homes market. [152275]

Yvette Cooper: The Design for Manufacture competition was run by English Partnerships (EP) on behalf of Communities and Local Government. The aim of the competition was to deliver more than 1,100 high quality, well designed homes on ten publicly owned sites for a construction cost of £60,000 per unit. In order to ensure mixed communities, the homes will provide a mix of accommodation under a variety of tenures: affordable rent, shared ownership and private sale at full market value. The aspiration is to reach 50 per cent. affordable housing of all tenures across the 10 sites, significantly higher than the percentage of affordable housing achieved through section 106 agreements.

The homes for affordable rent will be transferred into the ownership of the registered social landlord (RSL) partnering the preferred developer on each site and will not therefore be offered for sale. The remaining affordable homes will be available for those who qualify for shared ownership arrangements, either through the First Time Buyers Initiative operated by EP or through the Homebuy scheme operated by RSLs. Should the purchaser under the shared ownership arrangements take the decision to sell, EP and the RSL have the right of first refusal to buy back the home. Should they not exercise this right, they would in any case benefit from any uplift in value on the proportion of the equity which they retain when the home is sold on.

The homes for private sale are being sold at full market value and will not therefore be subject to any restriction upon re-sale.

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recommendations from the Cave Review of Social Housing she plans to implement. [152380]

Yvette Cooper: The Government published their response to the Cave Review on 19 June 2007 in “Delivering Housing and Regeneration—Communities England and the Future of Social Housing Regulation”.

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many social tenants are eligible for (a) social homebuy, (b) the right to buy and (c) the right to acquire. [152844]

Yvette Cooper: Social homebuy is a voluntary scheme and information on the number of households who are eligible for the scheme is not available. 78 registered social landlords and seven local authorities are currently piloting the scheme. Some landlords are offering the scheme widely across their stock. Others are targeting specific estates, locations or local authority areas.

The right to buy is available to eligible secure tenants of local authorities and registered social landlords
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(RSLs). The number of dwellings owned and let by local authorities is just over two million. However, no information is available on the number of tenants who are eligible for the right to buy.

Assured tenants of housing associations who were transferred with their homes from local authorities have a preserved right to buy—approximately one million dwellings to date.

Approximately 200,500 RSL tenants may qualify for the right to acquire scheme introduced by the Housing Act 1996 because their homes have been built with public funds since 1 April 1997. Tenants of homes transferred from local authorities after the same date may also qualify for the right to acquire scheme, including those tenants who retain a preserved right to buy.

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what her most recent estimate is of the average capital value of a house under the (a) social homebuy, (b) new build homebuy and (c) open market homebuy schemes. [152850]

Yvette Cooper: The average capital value of a house bought under the three homebuy schemes is:


Social homebuy pilots


New build homebuy


Open market homebuy


This is the full value of the property, regardless of the size of the share bought.

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many housing starts there were in each local planning authority in England in each of the last three years. [152950]

Mr. Iain Wright: A table showing the number of starts in each local authority in England for the last three years has been placed in the Library of the House.

Figures are based on building control inspections as reported by each local authority on the quarterly P2 return to Communities and Local Government. New build starts as reported by the National House Building Council are added to provide a measure of overall activity. Local authority figures presented are as reported and do not include estimates where local authority returns are missing.

John Penrose: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many key workers in (a) the UK, (b) the South West and (c) Weston-Super-Mare have received assistance through the Key Worker Living Programme. [153351]

Yvette Cooper: Since April 2004, 15,438 key workers have been helped into a new home through the Key Worker Living (KWL) programme in England. KWL only operates in London, South East and East of England. Therefore, no key workers have received
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assistance through the KWL programme in Weston-Super-Mare or the South West of England.

However key workers on low to modest incomes outside the KWL regions can receive help through the Government’s wider HomeBuy programme which enables first time buyers to buy a share of a home and get a first step on the housing ladder. We do not hold data centrally on how many key workers have been helped through this route.

John Penrose: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what progress the Government has made towards fulfilling its commitment to help 30,000 key workers into home ownership by 2010 through the Key Worker Living Programme as set out by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in Sustainable Communities: Homes for All in 2005. [153352]

Yvette Cooper: Since April 2005, we have assisted 10,862 key workers, through the Key Worker Living Programme. We are on track to delivering our commitment to help 30,000 key workers to find a home from 2005 to 2010.

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether her Department has guaranteed commercial lenders participating in the Open Market Homebuy scheme against falling house prices. [153687]

Yvette Cooper: The Open Market HomeBuy product which is provided in partnership with lenders, enables purchasers to buy a property on the open market with the help of two 12.5 per cent. equity loans, one from Government and one from a lender. If house prices fall, and the property is sold, the proceeds of the sale are used to firstly pay off the balance of the mortgage and then the value of the lender's equity loan. For three of the participating lenders this will be the original value of the equity loan, as they do not share in a fall in value. For one lender the loan will have fallen in value to reflect the fall in value of the property.

If the house price has fallen dramatically, then the proceeds of the sale may not cover all of these debts. If the proceeds are not sufficient to pay off the lender's conventional mortgage and equity loan then they have 'recourse' to the borrower. This means that the borrower is still in debt to the lender after the property is sold.

Government, however, do not have recourse to the borrower. This means that if there are not sufficient proceeds from the sale, Government are not paid and cannot recover the debt from the borrower. This means that Open Market HomeBuy purchasers are less vulnerable to negative equity than those with a purely conventional mortgage.

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps her Department and its agencies are taking to lever more private finance into the social housing sector. [153690]

Yvette Cooper: The Government have recently published two documents that set out its plans to lever in more private finance to the social housing sector. First the consultation paper Delivering Housing and
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Regeneration: Communities England and the future of social housing; and second the Housing Green Paper—Homes for the future: more affordable, more sustainable.

In addition, The Housing Corporation, in their publication "Unlocking the Door: Delivering more homes from the Comprehensive Spending Review 2007", concluded that there is additional financial capacity within the Housing Association sector and scope for efficiency savings. Housing Associations themselves believe that savings that absorb likely land and build cost inflation of 6 per cent. annually are possible over the next three years.

Housing: Overcrowding

Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she expects to bring forward proposals for a new statutory definition of overcrowding. [150900]

Yvette Cooper: The Government will set out further proposals on overcrowding later in the year. We have invested over £40 million in London pilot schemes to provide innovative solutions to some of the worst cases of overcrowding and have made the provision of new social housing a priority in the comprehensive spending review.

Housing: Parking

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what changes the Planning Policy Statement has made to the (a) minimum and (b) maximum amount of car parking allowed in new residential developments. [153605]

Yvette Cooper: Planning Policy Statement 3 (PPS3) does not prescribe car parking standards or limits for residential development. Local authorities should set their own residential parking policies, taking account of expected levels of car ownership, the importance of promoting good design and the need to use land efficiently.

Housing: Peterborough

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many properties were (a) bought and (b) part-bought in (i) the Peterborough city council area and (ii) Peterborough constituency under the Government's Homebuy scheme in each year since 2001; and if she will make a statement; [144065]

(2) how many new affordable houses were built in Peterborough unitary authority area in each of the last five years. [144090]

Yvette Cooper: The following table shows the total number of properties purchased under low cost home ownership schemes in each of the last five years for the area covered by Peterborough city council. This information is not held on a constituency basis.

The shared ownership schemes (currently known as New Build HomeBuy) have allowed applicants buy a share of a property (from 25 per cent. to 75 per cent.)
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and pay rent to a housing association on the remaining share which they do not own.

Shared ownership Shared equity

















(1) Provisional.
Housing Corporation.

The shared equity schemes (currently known as Open Market HomeBuy) have enabled people to buy a property on the open market with the help of equity loans. Under the current scheme purchasers buy the property outright, but only need to raise around 75 per cent. of the purchase price of their home from a conventional mortgage. The balance is made up by two equity loans, each of around 12.5 per cent. of the purchase price. One loan comes from Government through a HomeBuy Agent and the other comes from one of four mortgage lenders participating in the HomeBuy scheme. For the remainder of 2007-08, we are expanding the range of Open Market HomeBuy products. From 23 July we are offering a new 17.5 per cent. Government equity loan which purchasers will be able to use more flexibly as a deposit and take to any lender on the open market. This will complement the existing products and offer greater choice to purchasers.

The following table shows the total affordable housing in Peterborough including homes for both affordable rent and low cost home ownership (as detailed in the previous table) that have been provided either through new build or acquisition and refurbishment.

Low cost home ownership Affordable homes for rent Total affordable housing provided






















(1) Provisional.

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