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Mr. Touhig: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions she has had with Ministerial colleagues on steps to assist first-time buyers to purchase homes. 
Mr. Iain Wright: From time to time, including, in the context of the comprehensive spending review, ministerial colleagues discuss Government plans and review progress. This includes policy proposals for increasing the supply of affordable housing and further steps to assist first-time buyers on to the property ladder, including expanding the low cost home ownership programme, as set out in the Governments Housing Green Paper, published in July last year.
John Healey: Around 48,000 households were affected by the June and July floods. As of 17 January, around 8,750 of these households remained wholly or partially displaced from their homes. This figure is based on the best available data provided by local authorities as part of the data collection for the January Flood Recovery Grant scheme.
On 31 January I announced that nine councils with the largest number of households still displaced would receive a share of a further £1 million in Flood Recovery Grant to support the most vulnerable people in their communities affected by the floods. This brings the total paid out in Flood Recovery Grant to £18.4 million.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much funding has been allocated to local authorities under the extended Bellwin formula to provide 100 per cent. of the eligible costs arising from the floods in summer 2007; and if she will make a statement. 
John Healey: To date, the Department has paid £8.8 million under the Bellwin scheme in respect of the 2007 floods. Under the standard 85 per cent. grant rate which usually applies for Bellwin schemes, £7.5 million would have been paid. More payments are expected shortly.
Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much funding for flood relief and recovery in addition to that delivered through the local government settlement she will make available to Surrey County Council in 2008-09. 
The Department for Communities and Local Government has no plans in place at present to make any further funding available to Surrey county council for flood relief and recovery in 2008-09 in addition to that delivered through the local government settlement. If and when future emergencies occur the Government make available financial assistance to help local authorities deal with the aftermath.
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