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|Table 1: Households in temporary accommodation, and number of children within these households (as at 30 September 2008)|
|Local authority||Total households in TA arranged by authority||Total children (and expected children) within these households|
| signifies data not reported by authority.|
Mr. Iain Wright: As part of a much wider package of real help for homeowners, the recently announced Homeowner Mortgage Support Scheme will enable ordinary hard working households that experience a redundancy or significant loss of income to reduce their monthly payments to a more manageable level, by deferring a proportion of the interest payments on their mortgage for up to two years. The Government will guarantee to lenders they will get the payments back in return for them participating in the scheme.
We are not setting a limit or a target for the number of households this scheme can helpthis is a consumer and lender-led scheme, backed up by a Government guarantee. We want to see this scheme help as many households as possible.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many local authorities (a) have retained direct ownership and management of their social housing stock, (b) have transferred housing to a registered social landlord and (c) use an arm's-length management organisation to manage their social housing stock. 
Mr. Iain Wright [holding answer 10 December 2008]: Of the 354 district and single tier local authorities, 170 have transferred all of their housing stock to a registered social landlord, with six more planning to do so. 112 have direct management of their stock and are not on the transfer or ALMO programme. 66 authorities have an Arms Length Management Organisation, of which 15 have also transferred some of their stock to one or more registered social landlords.
Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what progress has been made in her Departments £15 million programme to pilot measures to tackle household overcrowding. 
Mr. Iain Wright: This year we have established 38 overcrowding pathfinder areas (all London boroughs, Birmingham, Bradford, Leicester, Liverpool and Manchester). Each pathfinder has received £110,000, this financial year, to enable them to collect more robust data on overcrowding and develop strategies and action plans to tackle overcrowding.
Pathfinders are doing this by building on some of the lessons learnt from pilot projects in London which sought to make better use of existing stock through reducing under occupation, better use of the private rented sector and offering housing options to mitigate the effects of overcrowding. We will be seeking progress reports from pathfinders before the end of the financial year.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she plans to take to assist low income homeowners of state pension age to carry out home maintenance and renewal works. 
Mr. Iain Wright: We published Lifetime Homes, Lifetime NeighbourhoodsA National Strategy for Housing in an Ageing Society earlier this year, which addresses the housing and related service needs of older people. This includes initiatives for the promotion and development of better home repairs and adaptations services. Additional funding of over £30 million from 2009 will go to support local agencies, such as home improvement agencies, to help older people with minor repairs and adaptations.
£10.2 billion has been allocated by my Department for 2008-11 for regional housing capital programmes, including those which address the condition of private sector housing stock. Of this, almost £2 billion is for improvements and regeneration to the existing stock (both local authority owned and private sector). We have issued guidance to regional assemblies which asks them to continue to prioritise those most in need with the expectation that packages of assistance including grants, loans, and equity release schemes are made available to individual homeowners.
Under the Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) (England and Wales) Order 2002 (the RRO) local authorities have a great deal of flexibility and freedom in providing discretionary assistance for repairs and adaptations. It is also for the local authority to decide the circumstances in which to give discretionary assistance, what form that assistance may take (e.g. grants, loans, equity release schemes etc.) and what, if any, conditions to attach.
Central Government do not prescribe the exact manner in which these powers are used but we expect local authorities to offer packages of assistance to householders, taking into account local priorities, the individual circumstances of the applicant and the resources available to the local authority, we have said that we expect support to continue to go to those most in need.
In addition, the Governments Supporting People programme allows local authorities to fund handy person schemes for their local area if an authority wishes to do so. The Supporting People ring-fenced grant conditions will be removed from 2009-10 to enable Local Authorities to better meet the needs of vulnerable clients, including older people, by the use of more flexible innovative services.
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a)
house completions and (b) house starts there have been in each local authority area in the Thames Gateway growth area in (i) each of the last four quarters and (ii) each of the last four years. 
|House building starts in the Thames Gateway growth area in each of the last four quarters from 2004 - 05 until 2007 - 08|
|2004 - 05||2005 - 06|
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