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Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent discussions she has had with HM Treasury on standardisation of the definition of a zero-carbon house. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Discussions about the definition of a zero-carbon house have been held, and are on-going between my Department and Treasury as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of such meetings.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the Answer of 30 January 2008, Official Report, columns 438-40W, on housing: construction, if she will provide the absolute figure for the 50 per cent. of the new build activity for which figures are available. 
Mr. Iain Wright: It is not possible to provide absolute figures because information on type and number of bedrooms is collected centrally from only one sector of the building control industry. To present this information could lead to the disclosure of market sensitive information.
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what funding sources contribute to the Housing Corporation's new build programme; and what the total funding for the programme was in the last year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Housing Corporation receives grant from this Department to fund its Affordable Housing programme. In 2006-07 the Housing Corporation spent a total of £1.9 billion through its Affordable Housing programme on the provision of new affordable housing for social rent and low cost home ownership.
Schemes within the programme are funded through a variety of sources including borrowing by registered social landlords; registered social landlords own resources and contributions through other public bodies.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was paid for (a) gap funding for registered social landlords after large-scale voluntary transfers, (b) costs of establishing large-scale voluntary transfers, (c) annual grants to arms length management organisations (ALMOs), (d) costs of establishing and grants to new ALMOs and (e) regional social housing grants for new holdings in each year since 2005-06; and how much has been allocated for each in each year until 2010-11. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Capital funding support to arms length management organisations (ALMOs) is allocated in the form of supported capital expenditure allowances within the housing revenue account subsidy system. The Department does not hold a record centrally of the costs of establishing ALMOs.
The following table sets outs the funding information requested. The allocations for future years are those that have been made following CSR07. Final allocations for each year have yet to be determined.
|1 These figures include both local authority and RSL set up costs. We do not hold separate figures.|
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in what ways her Department is improving the information available on migrants and housing; and how she plans to make this information available (a) locally and (b) nationally. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Department collects information in the Survey of English Housing on the nationality of the main householder and, for those born outside the UK, the year of arrival in the UK. This survey ends in April 2008 and is being replaced by a similar survey. The new survey will include a set of core questions covering nationality, country of birth and year of arrival for all members of every household interviewed for the survey. This will provide a more robust picture on migrants and housing than is currently available.
Information on social lettings is collected by St. Andrews university on behalf of the Housing Corporation and the Department through the Continuous Recording of Lettings (CORE). This includes information on the characteristics of new tenants, including nationality. Information from CORE is published on the CORE website www.core.ac.uk. The Department is working with St. Andrews university to improve the participation of local authorities in CORE.
The Department has also published revised 2004-based household projections. These are linked to the Office for National Statistics revised sub-national
population projections, that used an improved methodology for estimating the distribution of international migration across England.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps the Government is taking to (a) extend and (b) curtail permitted development rights for householders. 
Mr. Iain Wright: In November 2007 the Government published their responses to consultations on permitted development rights for householders, including householder micro-generation. In general, forthcoming changes will extend permitted development rights. Householders will have more scope to extend their homes under permitted development up to maximum dimensions designed to ensure no adverse impact on neighbours. There will also be a separate allowance for loft extensions. Local authorities will be able to introduce local variations using Local Development Orders to provide greater freedom for development and Article 4 Directions to restrict permitted development where greater protection is needed.
Permitted development rights will be restricted in a similar way to the current rules in designated areas, such as conservation areas. The Government have also announced that planning permission will be required for paving front gardens where the surface is impermeable. This change is designed to reduce the risk of flooding from rapid surface runoff of rainwater.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many homes were judged to be of poor quality in the (a) social rented and (b) private sector in (i) Cornwall, (ii) the South West and (iii) England in each year since 1979. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Statutory definitions of poor quality housing have changed between 1979 and present so there is no consistent set of information that allows comparison over the whole time period. The 1989 Local Government and Housing Act updated the then current fitness assessment and this revised measure remained in place until April 2006 (when it was replaced by the Housing Health and Safety Rating System).
Nationally, the English House Condition Survey is used to monitor conditions and was carried out and reported every five years until 2001 and annually from 2003. The survey provides the following national estimates for fitness from 1991 to 2006, table 1:
|Table 1: Number of homes not meeting the Fitness Standard in England by sector, 1991-2006|
The increase between 2001 and 2003 is not statistically significant and estimates between these two years may have been affected by changes in the sample design of the survey which was reorganised to provide annual results from 2003.
English House Condition Survey
Information on unfit dwellings is collected by local authorities in the Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA) and numbers are available for private sector dwellings for the last 10 years covering Cornwall (including the Isles of Scilly) and the South West of England, table 2 as follows. However records for social housing have not been collected on a sufficiently consistent basis over this period to provide reliable estimates for these areas.
|Table 2: Number of unfit private sector dwellings in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, and the South West, as reported by local authorities|
|Cornwall and Isles of Scilly||South West|
Data as reported by local authorities. These figures may be affected by non-reporting of numbers of unfit dwellings, and will be dependent on overall stock figures.
Communities and Local Government Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix Return (HSSA), from section A.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what use her Department is planning to make of Valuation Office Agency data for the purposes of housing and delivery grant allocation. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Government published the draft allocation criteria for the Housing and Planning Delivery Grant in October 2007 for consultation which closed on 17 January. We will set out the financial allocation criteria in due course, taking account of the views expressed in the consultation.
Mr. Iain Wright: The Department does not hold data on the value of equity held in housing stock by each local authority in England. Neither does it hold data that would enable the calculation of the value of equity for that stock.
A table has been deposited in the Library of the House showing the value of the stock for local housing authorities in England at January 1999 pricesdata the Department holds for the purpose of the calculation of assumed rent levels in the Housing Revenue Account subsidy system. The table also shows the level of housing debt in that authority in 1998-99 and 2006-07, the latest year for which we have audited data.
Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 10 January 2008, Official Report, column 770W, on Ministerial Duties: West Midlands, how much time the hon. Member for Birmingham, Hodge Hill has spent on his regional ministerial brief in each week since his appointment as Minister for the West Midlands. 
Mr. Dhanda [holding answer 17 January 2008]: Regional Ministers divide their time between their roles as regional Minister, departmental Minister and constituency Member of Parliament. The amount of time devoted to each role varies from week to week according to events in the region and the Minister's other commitments.
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