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Acceptance data at local authority level prior to 1997-98 are not held electronically.

Housing: Braintree

Mr. Newmark: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans have been made for the (a) provision and (b) development of affordable housing in Braintree. [255309]

Mr. Iain Wright: Braintree district council is part of the Greater Haven Gateway sub-region which has an indicative allocation for the period 2008-11 of £76.8 million. For the period up to 31 December 2008 the homes and communities agency has allocated Braintree district council a grant of £3.49 million which will deliver 86 units for rent and 16 units for sale.

Housing: Low Incomes

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to increase (a) the supply of and (b) access to affordable housing in rural areas in the North East. [257535]

Mr. Iain Wright: The Homes and Communities Agency has been set a national target to provide 10,300 affordable homes in smaller rural communities from 2008-11 for both social rent and low cost home ownership. Grant from the £8 billion National Affordable Housing Programme is allocated through a competitive bidding process based on four main criteria: deliverability, quality, value for money and fit with national, regional and local priorities.

A number of rural communities in the North East will be supported through the Homes and Communities Agency’s investment in North East former Coalfields areas.

The Government are committed to helping the development of a viable, well managed and financially robust Community Land Trust sector. Community Land Trusts have the potential to get the weight of the community behind the development of affordable housing and bring forward land for development, particularly in rural areas. We recently published a consultation on the development of a viable Community Land Trust sector and we have received 63 responses from a wide range of stakeholders which we are currently analysing. We will publish the results in the near future.

The Homes and Communities Agency has built links with the Community Land Trust movement in the North East and aims to deliver more new rural housing through this route.

Access to social rented housing is determined by the allocations legislation. This is designed to ensure the widest possible access while ensuring that priority goes to those people who are in the greatest housing need. Access to low cost home ownership schemes funded through the Affordable Housing Programme is open to first time buyers with an annual household income of £60,000 or less who are unable to buy a home in the market.

The Prime Minister commissioned a report from the hon. Member for Truro and St. Austell (Matthew Taylor) who has been looking at how land use and planning can
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better support rural business and deliver affordable housing in rural communities. His report, published in July 2008, provides a comprehensive review of the issues that our rural communities face, including access to affordable housing, and provides a number of practical recommendations. We are looking at the report in detail and will publish a full response shortly.

Housing: Standards

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what proportion of properties (a) in the private rented sector and (b) under owner occupation in each (i) region and (ii) London local authority area are deemed to be below the Decent Homes standard. [257384]

Mr. Iain Wright: The English House Condition survey provides national estimates of the number and proportion of homes below the Decent Homes standard in each of the main tenures.

The survey can provide estimates for each tenure only by grouped regions. The number and proportion of private rented and owner occupied homes assessed to be below the Decent Homes standard by the English House Condition survey are provided for three regional groups by averaging three years of survey data (2005-06 to 2007-08) to establish reasonably robust results for each tenure in Table 1 as follows. Taking into account margins of error associated with the sample survey, the table indicates.

For the private rented sector, south east regions (London and South East regions combined) have below average proportions of non-decent homes, but there is no significant difference between other regional groups and the national average for this sector.

For the owner occupied sector, there is no significant difference between any of the regional groups and the national average for this sector.

Table 1: Number and percentage of privately rented and owner-occupied homes that are non- decent by regional group, 2006

Number ( Thousand ) Percentage of regional group

Private rented

Northern regions



South east regions



Rest of England



All regions



Owner occupied

Northern regions



South east regions



Rest of England



All regions



Regional groups:
Northern regions include North West, North East and Yorkshire and the Humber; south east regions include London and South East; rest of England includes East of England, East Midlands, West Midlands and South West.
Results are based on data collected from March 2005 to April 2008. They are based on the updated definition of the Decent Homes standard which incorporates the Housing Health and Safety Rating System as its statutory criterion.
2005-06 to 2007-08 English House Condition Surveys.

Information for London local authorities is not available.

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Housing: Students

Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many bed spaces have been completed in purpose-built communal housing for students and key workers in each local planning authority area since 2004; and what assessment her Department has made of the effects of such accommodation on local housing markets. [258010]

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

Mobile Homes

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many residential park homes there are on licensed park home sites in (a) St Ives constituency, (b) Cornwall and (c) England; [257357]

(2) how many licensed sites for park homes are registered in (a) St Ives constituency, (b) Cornwall and (c) England. [257358]

Mr. Iain Wright: The Department does not routinely collect statistics on the number of park homes or the number of park home sites. However, an ad hoc survey of local authorities in England carried out in 2006 suggested the following:

Approximate number of residential park home sites Approximate number of residential park homes

Constituency of St. Ives









Property Development: Floods

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what analysis she plans to undertake of the 16 recent planning applications on which the Environment Agency advised against proceeding but which went ahead on flood plains under Planning Policy Statement 25; and if she will make a statement. [257332]

Mr. Iain Wright: We continue to work closely with the Environment Agency, local authorities and other stakeholders to ensure our policies in Planning Policy Statement 25 (PPS25), “Development and Flood Risk”, are delivered on the ground. The Environment Agency’s latest annual ‘Development and Flood Risk’ report, produced jointly with local government, sets out how the Agency’s technical advice was taken into account in local authority planning decisions during the period April 2007 to March 2008. The report lists 16 ‘major developments’ (residential development of 10 dwellings or more, or other new building of 1,000 square meters or more) that were granted planning permission against Agency advice on flood risk. The report notes that six of the cases were in areas of high flood risk but that in eight cases the developments were located in areas with a low risk of flooding. The report sets out the Agency’s advice and how the relevant local authority responded.

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Rented Housing: Regulation

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will establish an independent watchdog for tenants renting managed properties via letting agencies. [256848]

Mr. Iain Wright: Last year the Government commissioned an independent review of the private rented sector from Julie Rugg and David Rhodes of the centre for housing policy in the university of York. The review reported in October 2008. As part of its proposals to improve quality and professionalism within the sector, it recommended that letting and managing agents should be subject to mandatory, independently-led regulation. Such a regime would include independent redress for consumers and policing of the sector. We are currently considering the proposals in the review with key stakeholders and will be responding formally later this year.

Rented Housing: York

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much has been spent on building and repairing (a) council and (b) housing association homes in City of York constituency in each year since the creation of the unitary authority. [257830]

Mr. Iain Wright: The following table shows the grant funding through the Homes and Communities Agency's Affordable Housing Programme in each financial year by registered social landlords (RSLs) in the City of York local authority area on the provision of affordable housing. This includes both new build and acquisition and refurbishment. This does not include expenditure that RSLs may have invested through their own resources.

£ million























Source: Homes and Communities Agency.

RSLs as independent private organisations are responsible for the maintenance of their properties. Information on the spend by RSLs on maintenance of their stock in the City of York local authority is not held centrally.

Data on the cost of building council homes are not collected but no new council homes have built in the City of York since 1996. Capital spend on council housing stock is captured from the Business Plan Statistical Appendix. These data have been collected only since 2001.

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Capital expenditure on Housing Revenue Account stock in the City of York
















Total since 2001


Rents: Wimbledon

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the change in rental rates for (a) business and (b) council tenants in Wimbledon constituency arising from her Department's decisions on the rental increase formula for 2008-09. [256617]

Mr. Iain Wright: No estimate has been made. Local authority rents are set by the councils themselves, not central Government. We do not estimate rent increases that might be made by individual councils.

The guideline rent formula used in the housing revenue account subsidy determination does not impact upon business rents.

Rough Sleepers: Eastbourne

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many rough sleepers there were estimated to be in Eastbourne in each year since 1990. [257094]

Mr. Iain Wright: Annual rough sleeping figures for Eastbourne have been collected since 1998. The figures are based on local authority street counts and estimates where a street count did not take place.

Rough sleepers in Eastbourne
























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