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Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many perception surveys have been undertaken in market renewal areas in the last 12 months; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Wright: It is impractical to determine the number of perception surveys undertaken in market renewal areas in the last 12 months as some pathfinders measure perceptions as part of their everyday work, e.g. at consultation events, at the citizens advice bureau, in questionnaires and as part of master planning activity. The practice also varies according to the needs of the individual area.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimates her Department has made of the number of houses which have been built to the carbon emission standards set out at (a) Level 3, (b) Level 4 and (c) Level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Wright:
The Building Research Establishment has informed the Department that there are currently 395 registered developments that are building to the code, covering around 30,000 homes. Four of these are
now formally going through the design stage assessment. Of those four going through the design stage, two are aiming for Code level 3 and two are aiming for Code level 4. BRE has also received the first post-construction assessment, for a development which was designed to Code level 4.
Other homes may have been built to the carbon emission standards set out in the Code for Sustainable Homes but may not have been built to meet the other sustainability requirements of the code and may not therefore have been assessed against the code.
Mr. Iain Wright: The current national demand forecasts for aggregates were published in 2003 as National and Regional Guidelines for Aggregates Provision in England, 2001-16. The forecasts are derived from a number of variables, including commercially available forecasts of construction activity. These include an element for house-building, which is currently around 180,000 units a year. The increase in net additions may not equate to a proportionate addition in requirements for primary aggregates. This is because:
net additions covering some conversions and changes of use categories which may require less aggregate;
the possibility that alternative aggregate could be used for some new houses;
the possibility that the increase in new house building would substitute construction activity away from other projects which use aggregates.
Although the Department has not estimated the average amount of aggregate required for the construction of a new house, the European Commission has estimated that to build a new home requires around 400 tonnes of aggregates (Commission Staff Working Document, Analysis of the competitiveness of the non-energy extractive industry in the EU. June 2006).
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much funding is held by her Department under the Decent Homes Programme in relation to London, broken down by London borough; when that money is due to be released to each borough; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Local authorities retaining both the ownership and the management of their housing stock have to deliver their decent homes programme using the resources available through the housing revenue account and supported capital expenditure.
Setting up a high-performance arms length management organisation (ALMO) which can then access additional supported capital expenditure;
Entering into a private finance initiative (PFI) contract; or
Transferring stock to registered social landlords.
Supported capital expenditure is allocated to local authorities via the regional assemblies and paid via the housing revenue account (HRA). The London Mayor determines the allocations of supported capital expenditure for the London boroughs. The following table shows the allocation of supported capital expenditure to London boroughs for 2008-09. The revenue support for the interest payments on this borrowing has been built into the subsidy determination for 2008-09.
|Name of local authority||2008-09 (T housand)|
The Minister for Housing determines the allocations of the supported capital expenditure to ALMOs which is paid as revenue support for the interest payments on this borrowing and this has been built into the HRA subsidy determination for 2008-09. The London boroughs which are receiving supported capital expenditure for ALMO programmes to deliver decent homes are listed in the following table:
|London ALMOs: Allocations 2007-08 to 2010-11|
|(1) To be confirmed|
|London borough||PFI scheme||PFI credits (£ million)||Signature date (operational date)||Full year subsidy (£)||Contract length (years)|
Schemes on the Housing PFI Programme are allocated PFI credits which act as a promise of government funding and indicate the level of capital investment which will attract government support. Support for Decent Homes Housing PFI schemes is paid to local authorities via the housing revenue account subsidy system on a fixed annual basis over the life of the PFI contract. Subsidy is payable when schemes are operational. It is calculated on the overall capital cost of a scheme and does not reflect capital expenditure in individual years.
In addition, the Department has made a commitment to release subsidy for two further Decent Homes Housing PFI schemes in London, which are currently in procurement, provided they meet all relevant terms and conditions. These schemes are:
London borough of LambethMyatts Field Northcontract signature expected April 2009; and
London borough of NewhamForest Gatecontract signature expected March 2008.
Gap funding arrangements with RSLs enable local authorities to transfer their housing stock when the level of private finance required to deliver investment for decent homes improvements cannot be supported by the rental income from the homes. The numbers of arrangements in place in London are:
|London borough||Number of transfer schemes||Total gap funding value (£ million)||Grant expected to be paid in 2007-08 (£ million)|
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