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Decisions to deploy DFID humanitarian assessment teams are made on a case-by-case basis, but we take into account the nature and scale of humanitarian needs, the personal security of the DFID team, and the activities of other international organisations on the ground.

Communities and Local Government

Building Regulations: Water

Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she expects to publish the results of the consultation on changes to Part G (Hygiene) of the Building Regulations 2000. [234885]

Mr. Iain Wright: The analysis of the responses to the Part G consultation is now complete. I am to ensure that the report on the consultation setting out the responses will be published later this month.

Community Relations: Gloucester

Mr. Dhanda: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what preventing violent extremism funding has been made available for Gloucester. [234881]

John Healey: Gloucester city council will receive £100,000 in funding in 2010-11 through their area based grant.

Council Housing: Rents

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for what reason she proposes that local authority rents should rise to levels set by registered social landlords; and if she will make it her policy to return to pooled historic cost averaging as a basis for rent fixing. [234342]

Mr. Iain Wright: Rent restructuring has been in place since 2002. Prior to its introduction there was no standard method of setting rents in England, leading to very different rents being charged between neighbouring local authorities and between local authorities and housing associations in the same local area, with no clear justification.

Although we are encouraging social landlords to adopt the reforms, individual housing associations and local authorities remain responsible for rent setting. They can set whatever rents they consider reasonable in discussion with their tenants.

Rent restructuring is intended to make rent setting fair and transparent, it aims to keep rents affordable, well below those in the private sector, and at similar levels for similar properties.

Rents and rent-setting policy is one of the items being looked at as part of our Review of Council Housing Finance. We do not intend to revisit rent policy before this review is complete.

Departmental Conditions of Employment

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what percentage of employees in her Department (a) are on a flexible working contract, (b) are on a job share employment contract and (c) work from home for more than four hours per week. [233824]

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Hazel Blears: All staff in Communities and Local Government can choose to work flexibly, should they so wish. We are committed to flexible working and our flexible working policy sets out a presumption in favour of flexible working patterns—the onus is on the line management to demonstrate where part-time or home working is not appropriate.

The Department does not at present hold data on the specific details of flexible working such as job sharing and home working. We are, however, putting systems in place at present, to record this data electronically.

Housing Starts

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number of council houses which will be built in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11; and what steps she plans to take to increase the rate of council house building. [234357]

Mr. Iain Wright: We have announced our intention to change the revenue and capital rules which apply to new council homes in order to remove financial disincentives to new build by local authorities. On 2 September we announced that we will invite all stock-owning local authorities to compete for grant on the same terms as those with special purpose vehicles, in addition to those who have ALMOs or have set up Special Purpose Vehicles for this purpose.

We have also introduced other measures to make it easier for councils to build and acquire new homes. Section 313 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 provides that councils can keep the full rental income from new council homes (including newly built and newly acquired properties).

We expect to consult shortly on the use of section 313 power and the capital receipts regulations which aim to enable councils to benefit in full from rental income or sales receipts from properties that have been built or acquired since this planned change to these rules.

The Government do not publish forecasts for house-building.

Housing: Construction

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many new build homes were constructed by local authorities in each year since 1997. [234926]

Mr. Iain Wright: The following table shows the number of new build dwellings completed by local authorities in each year since 1997.

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Number of dwellings

























New build completions from P2 monthly and quarterly returns submitted by local authorities. The local authority level figures are as reported and do not include estimates for missing returns.

Housing: Low Incomes

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many social homes there are in North Devon constituency; and how many there were in each of the last five years; [234414]

(2) how many people are on waiting lists for social housing in North Devon constituency. [234413]

Mr. Iain Wright: Information on the number of social dwellings owned by registered social landlords (RSLs) and local authorities are published on the Communities and Local Government website in Table 115 and Table 116 respectively at:

Information is not available at constituency level, but North Devon falls within North Devon local authority area. All social dwellings in North Devon are owned by RSLs, though the local authority reported two dwellings in 2004-05 and one dwelling in 2005-06 in their Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA) annual return. The number on number of social dwellings owned by registered social landlords from 2002 to 2006 is given in the following table.

Dwelling stock owned by registered social landlord 2002-06
Number of self-contained units/bedspaces

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

North Devon






Housing Corporation via the annual Regulatory and Statistical Return (RSR)(as found in CLG live table 115)

Information about social housing waiting lists is collected in respect of households rather than individuals. Where local authorities and registered social landlords operate a common register, households registered with the RSL will be included in the data. However, registered social landlords are independent bodies and can keep their own waiting lists. Information on the number of households on local authorities' waiting lists broken down by Government office region and local authority for 1997 to 2007 is published on the Communities and Local Government website in Table 600 at:

Copies of this table have been deposited in the Library of the House.

At 1 April 2007, the number of households on the local authority housing waiting list in North Devon was 4,340.

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Local authorities in England report the number of households on their housing waiting list as at 1 April in their annual Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix returns.

The size of the waiting list is not an indicator of absolute need; it is only useful as a broad indicator of housing demand in an area. Not everyone on the waiting list is necessarily in urgent housing need. The waiting list includes those who consider social housing as their preferred or one of a number of housing options, and those who decide to get onto the waiting list ladder before they need or want to move house.

Housing: Standards

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which local authorities she expects will fail to meet the decent homes target by 2010; and how many authorities have informed her Department that they are selling council housing in order to raise funding to meet the target. [234311]

Mr. Iain Wright: Details of when we expect each local authority to deliver decent homes were provided in my answer of 28 October 2008, Official Report, column 946W.

Decisions relating to the management of, and investment in, council housing stock are matters entirely for the local authority.

In 2007-08, of the 218 authorities who still operated a Housing Revenue Account 154 undertook some voluntary sale of dwellings to create a capital receipt. We do not hold any systematic data on how many of these used these receipts to invest in delivering decent homes.

The only systematic records we hold are where an authority creates a useable capital receipt from the voluntary sale (not a sale through RTB) of dwellings held within the HRA we do not systematically record precisely what they have used the receipt for—however if the authority wishes to retain the full receipt, rather than returning 50 per cent. to the Secretary of State for pooling, the receipt must be invested in either affordable housing or regeneration but this does not necessarily mean it is used to deliver decent homes.

We do not hold any data on which local authorities are planning to dispose of dwellings in order to create a capital receipt.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate her Department has made of the number of (a) social sector households and (b) vulnerable households in the private sector living in accommodation below the decent homes standards in each year since 1996. [234502]

Mr. Iain Wright: The number of social sector, and private sector vulnerable households, living in non-decent homes 1996-2006 is provided in the table. Vulnerable households are households in receipt of at least one of the principal means tested or disability related benefits. These figures were published in the English House Condition Survey 2006: Headline Report in January 2008.

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These figures are based on the original definition of decent homes incorporating the fitness standard as the statutory component.

The fitness standard was replaced by the Housing Health and Safety Rating System in 2006 and the latter was incorporated in the updated definition of decent homes for that year. However, figures are only available for 2006 using the updated definition.

Table 1: Number of social sector and private sector vulnerable households living in non-decent homes, 1996-2006
Social sector households Private sector vulnerable households

Number ( Thousand ) Percentage Number ( Thousand ) Percentage































Decent homes definition incorporating fitness as the statutory component.
English House Condition Survey, 2006

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many residential properties are classed as uninhabitable in each (a) region and (b) local authority area. [234680]

Mr. Iain Wright: This information requested is not held centrally.

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