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Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 12 November 2008

Communities and Local Government

Council House Transfers

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much her Department has set aside for gap funding for large-scale voluntary housing transfers in (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10; how many applications have been made in 2008-09 to date; and by which authorities and for how much in each case. [234334]

Mr. Iain Wright: We expect that gap funding grant payments of up to £120 million will be made to registered social landlords (RSLs) in support of large scale voluntary transfers in 2008-09. Gap funding grant letters for 2009-10 have yet to be issued, and there are a number of schemes that require a review to take place in accordance with gap funding grant terms. The outcome of these will determine the amount required to be set aside.

There have been no new housing transfer applications requiring gap funding from local authorities in 2008-09.

Eco-Towns: Essex

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what assessment she has made of the effect on the regeneration plans at Harlow of building a proposed eco-town at north-east Elsenham; [234835]

(2) what assessment she has made of the effect on local emissions levels of developing an eco-town at north-east Elsenham. [234836]

Mr. Iain Wright: As set out in the written statement on eco-towns on 4 November 2008, Official Report, column 10WS, we have published an ‘Eco-towns Sustainability Report’ (SA). This has been carried out by Scott Wilson and evaluates the likely impact of proposals, including north-east Elsenham, on the environment, local economy and community. Copies of the SA will be deposited in the House Library shortly and are available on the Department's website at:

For each location we are considering whether any further issues need to be evaluated at the strategic level as part of the Stage 2 consultation, which runs until 19 February 2009.

Homelessness

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many rough sleepers there were estimated to be in England in each year since 1990. [234504]


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Mr. Iain Wright: Annual rough sleeping figures have been collected since 1998 and are shown in the following table. These show the significant reductions in rough sleeping over the past 10 years.

Rough sleepers in England

Number

1998

1,850

1999

1,633

2000

1,180

2001

703

2002

596

2003

504

2004

508

2005

459

2006

502

2007

498

2008

483


Housing Companies

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many local housing companies there are; where each is established; how many houses each has built to date; how many each plans to build; and in each case what proportion of the total will be available for rent. [234333]

Mr. Iain Wright: The local housing company (LHC) model is being developed through the pilot programme of 14 local authorities, which is being led by English Partnerships, the national regeneration agency. The pilots are based in Leeds, Sheffield, Wakefield, Nottingham, Newcastle, Sunderland, Dacorum, Harlow, Peterborough, Bristol, Plymouth, Wolverhampton, Manchester and Barking and Dagenham.

The programme will provide the basis for assessing the scope for individual local authorities to set up LHCs, as well as the range of benefits that they may be able to secure for their local communities, such as increased housing provision across a range of tenures and wider regeneration benefits. We anticipate that the first LHC will be established as a result of the programme in the near future.

Housing: Construction

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the cost to (a) local authorities and (b) registered social landlords of building housing for rent; and what estimate she has made of the cost of borrowing to finance such building in each case. [234323]

Mr. Iain Wright: Through the Housing Corporation's affordable housing programme for 2007-08 the average total scheme cost was £150,200 for a social rented unit of which £59,700 was social housing grant. The remainder of the total cost is generally covered by borrowing or through registered social landlords' own resources. We have made no estimates on the costs of borrowing to finance the building of these homes.

We hold no central records on costs of building social rented homes by local authorities or on estimates of borrowing costs.


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Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many new build homes were constructed by arm's length management organisations in each year since 2001. [234927]

Mr. Iain Wright: Records are held of local authority new build homes but not those built by their arms length management organisations.

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many new build homes were constructed by registered social landlords in each year since 1997. [234928]

Mr. Iain Wright: The following table shows the number of new affordable homes built in England by registered social landlords (RSLs) for each year since 1997-98. The figures include social rent and intermediate affordable new build homes; they exclude acquisitions.

New homes built by registered social landlords in England

New homes built by RSLs

1997-98

27,890

1998-99

26,360

1999-2000

22,260

2000-01

19,560

2001-02

19,550

2002-03

18,920

2003-04

20,580

2004-05

23,500

2005-06

28,470

2006-07

30,690

Source:
Housing Corporation Investment Management System (IMS).

Not all RSL housing is provided by new build completions as some supply can come from acquisitions. In 2006-07, an additional 5,500 RSL homes in England were provided by acquisitions which are not included in the aforementioned figure.

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many new build homes constructed by registered social landlords were made available for rental by social tenants in each year since 1997. [234929]

Mr. Iain Wright: The following table shows the number of new social rented homes built in England by registered social landlords (RSLs) each year since 1997-98. The figures exclude acquisitions.

New homes built for social rent by registered social landlords in England

New homes built by RSLs for social rent

1997-98

23,690

1998-99

22,430

1999-2000

19,520

2000-01

17,300

2001-02

17,510

2002-03

16,590

2003-04

16,600

2004-05

16,830

2005-06

18,350

2006-07

19,080

Source:
Housing Corporation Investment Management System (IMS)


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Not all RSL social rented housing is provided by new build completions as some supply can come from acquisitions. In 2006-07, an additional 2,360 social rented homes in England were provided by RSL acquisitions which are not included in the aforementioned figure.

Housing: Low Incomes

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what percentage of households are in (a) social housing and (b) the private rented sector in each of the principal seaside towns in England. [234937]

Mr. Iain Wright: Table 19 on page 50 of the report ‘England's Seaside Towns—A Benchmarking Study’, published by CLG in early November, shows the percentage of households that were in (a) social housing and (b) the private rented sector in each of the 37 principal seaside towns in England in 2001. This is the most up to date information on housing tenure for the seaside towns. The report can be found at:

A copy of the table follows for information.


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Table 19: Tenure in England's principal seaside towns, 2001 (ranked by owner occupation rate)
Percentage of households

Owner -occupiers Social rented Private rented sector

Whitley Bay

84

9

7

Sidmouth

81

10

9

Whitstable/Herne Bay

80

8

12

Southport

79

8

14

Clacton

79

9

13

Greater Worthing

78

10

12

Burnham-on-Sea

78

11

11

Isle of Wight

77

10

13

Swanage

76

11

13

Exmouth

76

11

13

Greater Blackpool

75

9

16

Bognor Regis

75

10

15

Deal

75

12

13

Greater Bournemouth

74

11

15

Dawlish/Teignmouth

74

9

17

Minehead

74

12

13

Torbay

74

8

18

Weymouth

73

13

14

St Ives

73

11

15

Southend-on-Sea

73

12

15

Weston-super-Mare

73

12

16

Morecambe/Heysham

73

8

20

Newquay

71

10

19

Lowestoft

70

16

14

Thanet

70

13

17

Bridlington

69

14

17

Hastings/Bexhill

69

14

18

Eastbourne

69

16

16

Folkestone/Hythe

68

14

19

Falmouth

67

15

18

Whitby

66

18

16

Scarborough

66

15

19

Ilfracombe

66

11

23

Greater Brighton

63

15

22

Penzance

62

18

20

Skegness

62

15

23

Great Yarmouth

62

24

15

Seaside towns

72

12

16

North East

64

28

9

North West

69

20

11

Yorkshire and the Humber

68

21

11

East Midlands

72

18

10

West Midlands

70

21

10

East

73

17

11

London

57

26

17

South East

74

14

12

South West

73

14

13

England

69

19

12

Source:
Census of Population

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