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3 Sep 2007 : Column 1675Wcontinued
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the ratio was between the average price of a home for first-time buyers and (a) average wages and (b) average household incomes in each local housing authority area in England at the latest date for which figures are available. 
The information requested cannot be derived by local housing authority due to the sample size of first time buyers (FTBs) from the Regulated Mortgage Survey data. However the ratios between the mean average price of a house for first time buyers and
(a) mean average wages and (b) mean average household incomes at a regional level are presented in the following table for Q1 2007. The usual comparison used by the Government and the National Housing and Planning Advice Unit involves lower quartile earnings compared to lower quartile house prices.
|Ratios between the mean average price of a home for first time buyers against (a) mean average wages and against (b) mean average household incomes|
|Government Office Region||(a)||(b)|
| Notes: 1. Figures have been derived using: Q1 2007 average house prices for first time buyers from the Regulated Mortgage Survey. 2. Average wages based on the ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) as at April 2006 and up-rated to Q1 2007 using the ONS Average Earnings Index (AEI), average household earnings based on the CLG Survey of English Housing (SEH) for 2005-06 and up-rated to Q1 2007 using the ONS Average Earnings Index (AEI).|
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will list each housing private finance initiative scheme, by local authority, that her Department and its predecessors have approved since May 1997. 
Yvette Cooper: The Housing Private Finance Initiative schemes approved by the Department since May 1997 are listed by local authority in the following table:
|Local a uthority||Project n ame||Status|
Inner City Regeneration Round 3 Additional Social Rented Scheme
Islington Street Properties 1(1)( )Islington Street Properties 2(1)
|(1) Indicates schemes in the Department's Decent Homes/Mixed Communities PFI Programme.|
Decent Homes/Mixed Communities PFI schemes
refurbishment and/or reprovision of existing council stock, including elements of regeneration; properties remain in council ownership and tenants remain tenants of the local authority; and
Additional social rented housing PFI schemes
new build units or the acquisition and refurbishment of non-decent private sector dwellings. In these schemes, the new housing is owned by the PFI contractor (usually a registered social landlord, RSL) not the council.
A further seven schemes are developing outline business cases. If these are approved, they will enter the procurement stage. The local authorities developing outline business cases are as follows:
Guildford borough councilAdditional Social Rented scheme
London borough of LewishamChrysalis Decent Homes scheme
Manchester city councilCollyhurstDecent Homes scheme
Medway councilShaws Wood and Woodlands Care CourtsAdditional Social Rented scheme
North Tyneside councilHomes for the FutureDecent Homes scheme
Salford city councilCreating a New PendletonDecent Homes scheme
Woking borough councilAdditional Social Rented scheme.
In addition, there are also two combined heating and power schemes which have been funded through the programme in Manchester city council and London borough of Tower Hamlets.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library a copy of the funding agreement for the 2006-08 period between her Department and each pathfinder scheme. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Copies of the funding agreements for 2006-07 between each pathfinder and the Department have been placed in the Library of the House. Funding agreements for 2007-08 are currently being finalisedwhen complete, copies of these will also be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 20 June 2007, Official Report, column 1861W, on housing: standards, if she will (a) provide a summary of the outcome of the meeting and (b) place in the Library a copy of the minutes of the meeting to which she refers. 
Yvette Cooper: Following the meeting with the Citizens Advice Bureau, it was agreed that further consideration would be given to exploring potential solutions to the issue of retaliatory eviction facing tenants who exercised their statutory rights with respect to repairs being completed in the property they rent.
Ministers meetings with outside bodies are undertaken on a confidential basis. It is not the Departments practice to disclose the details of what was discussed in such meetings.
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many assessments were carried out under the housing health and safety system in 2006-07; and how many properties were assessed as representing a category 1 hazard in (a) each local authority area, (b) local authority property, (c) registered social landlord property and (d) private accommodation. 
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 26 July 2007]: As the Housing Health and Safety Rating System was implemented in 2006-07, We do not yet have data on assessments of hazards, data will be available in 2007-08.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what her response is to the recommendation made by the Williams Commission in its report, Quality First: The Commission on Design of Affordable Housing in the Thames Gateway, that the Planning Inspectorate should send a stronger message to developers and local authorities that low quality in the design of housing schemes is a legitimate basis upon which planning applications should be refused. 
[holding answer 24 July 2007]: The independent report by the Williams Commission was commissioned by the Housing Corporation. It makes a very valuable contribution to the debate on urban
design and affordable housing. Officials will be considering the recommendations made to Government and discussing them with the Housing Corporation and Planning Inspectorate.
Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many assessors are (a) qualified and (b) in training to give code ratings under the Code for Sustainable Homes; how many assessors are needed to carry out voluntary assessments; how many will be needed to carry out mandatory assessments when the Code becomes mandatory in 2008; and if she will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: By the end of June 2007, the Buildings Research Establishment (who administer the scheme and train and accredit assessors) advise us that 432 trained and accredited assessors were available to undertake assessments for the Code for Sustainable Homes (the Code), and that they are training approximately 50 assessors a month and anticipate having approximately 900 assessors in place by April 2008.
The Code involves a two-stage assessment process. At design-stage the different types of homes in a development are assessed rather than each individual home; the post construction check is against a sample of the home-types that have been completed. The Government are consulting on proposals for homes to receive a mandatory rating but not a mandatory assessment. Some homes might therefore have no assessment and simply receive a zero rating or non rating. Therefore, it is not clear yet how many assessors would be needed. If new house building were to be around 165,000 new homes and all of these were assessed against the Code, the existing 432 assessors would need to carry out 51 assessments each a year. Based on the current growth assessor numbers the estimated 900 assessors available in April 2008 would need to carry out about 25 assessments each a year. These figures are based on the average development size, and the number of different types of properties on each development. In the past year one assessor has completed 60 assessments and registered a further 350 against the Code or its predecessor Ecohomes. These issues will be considered further as part of the consultation.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) of 26 June 2007, Official Report, column 633W, on housing: valuation, whether a property with a greenhouse may be assigned a higher financial valuation than an identical property without a greenhouse. 
John Healey: There is no answer under the head Housing: Valuation of 26 June 2007, Official Report, column 633W. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 26 June 2007, Official Report, column 641W.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) of 19 June 2007, Official Report, column 1677W, on housing: valuation, whether a greenhouse is included in the generic classification of outbuilding. 
John Healey: A standard greenhouse would not be classified by the Valuation Office Agency as an outbuilding.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many dwellings have had their individual property records updated by the Valuation Office Agency using information from the Rightmove.co.uk database in the last month. 
John Healey: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 26 June 2007, Official Report, column 630W, to the hon. Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove).
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