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Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many dwellings in each London local authority area in each tenure category are deemed to be below the Decent Homes Standard. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The information requested is provided in the following table. This is drawn from the Business Plan Statistical AppendixAnnual Monitoring data from Local Authorities for 2007-08 and from the Regulatory Statistical ReturnAnnual Monitoring data from Registered Social Landlords for 2007-08. The decent homes programme also covers non decent homes in the private sector occupied by vulnerable households but we do not have any figures at local authority level.
|Number of social homes failing to meet the decent homes standard at 1 April 2008|
|Local authority housing||RSL housing|
|(1) Do not own stock.|
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will prohibit (a) executive agencies and (b) non-departmental public bodies sponsored by her Department from spending money on (i) lobbyists and (ii) public affairs agencies. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the minimum amount of equity in a property is that a household must hold in order to qualify for the Mortgage Rescue Scheme; and whether the scheme is open to those in negative equity. 
Margaret Beckett: There are two options available to eligible households under the Mortgage Rescue SchemeShared Equity and Government Mortgage to Rent. Under the Shared Equity option a household must have a minimum of 25 per cent. but no more than 40 per cent. equity in their property to be considered eligible. Under Government Mortgage to Rent, a household must have less than 25 per cent. equity and any negative equity should not exceed the market value of the property by more than 20 per cent.
It was announced in the Budget 2009 that the mortgage rescue scheme will be expanded to include households in negative equity where their mortgage and secured debts did not total more than 20 per cent. above the market value of their property. This change came into force from 1 May and demonstrates our commitment to keep the scheme under review to reflect market conditions and scheme demand.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on what date details of (a) the Homeowner Mortgage Support Scheme and (b) the Mortgage Rescue Scheme were added to the Directgov website; and if she will make a statement. 
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what rates of interest will be applied by each mortgage lender to mortgages in circumstances where repayments are late under the Homeowner Mortgage Support Scheme. 
The rules governing the homeowners mortgage support scheme require lenders to maintain the rate of interest that is contracted with the borrower at the time of entry to the scheme. Before entering the scheme the borrower must seek independent money advice to help establish an affordable level of payment, provided that the borrower can pay at least 30 per cent. of the monthly interest due. This should substantially reduce the risk of late or missed payments. Should the
borrower default while on the scheme the standard terms of their mortgage will govern the rate of interest that is applied.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether her Department plans to produce an information leaflet on (a) the Homeowner Mortgage Support Scheme and (b) the Mortgage Rescue Scheme for dissemination in bank branches. 
Margaret Beckett: An information leaflet on Homeowners Mortgage Support is currently available on the DirectGov website and has been distributed to delivery partners, including lenders and money advice agencies, for use in branches at their discretion. An information leaflet on the Mortgage Rescue Scheme is made available by local authorities to households who are likely to be eligible for the scheme during the application process, rather than by the lender. Additional information on both schemes is available on the DirectGov website.
Advice on the range of support available to homeowners is also available through a National Homelessness Advice Service (NHAS) leaflet Are you worried about your mortgage?, which is widely available online and through money advice agencies, local authorities and lenders.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 8 May 2009, Official Report, columns 451-2W, on mortgages: Government assistance, on how many occasions in which an applicant under the Mortgage Rescue Scheme has been referred to a housing association, the organisation has decided not to purchase the dwelling since the implementation of the scheme; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: The Government Mortgage Rescue Scheme has only been operational across the country since 1 January 2009, following successful fast tracking by 80 local authorities in December 2008. The scheme is one part of a comprehensive package of measures to help households at risk of repossession.
Based on the January-March 2009 monitoring returns, housing associations did not proceed to complete the mortgage rescue process on eight properties during this reporting periodseven due to the property being in negative equity and one because of the propertys condition.
In the Budget 2009 it was announced that the Mortgage Rescue Scheme criteria would be expanded from 1 May to include some eligible households in negative equity. Local authorities are encouraged to reconsider cases previously found ineligible.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 8 May 2009, Official Report, columns 451-2W, on mortgages: Government assistance, (1) when she next expects to publish monthly data on the Mortgage Rescue Scheme; 
Margaret Beckett: Headline data for April 2009 from the monitoring returns submitted by local authorities implementing the Governments Mortgage Rescue Scheme are due to be published on the CLG website on Friday 29 May 2009 at:
Similar to the publication of data for January-March 2009 published on 30 April, the published tables will be broken down by Government Office region. Updated data for March 2009 will also be published.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will make it her policy to collect data on business turnover in order to manage the application of business rates on (a) independent, (b) chain and (c) out-of-town retail outlets. 
John Healey: For the purpose of business rates, the Valuation Office Agency may collect data on business turnover in order to determine the rateable value for certain types of properties. These normally include leisure properties, the utilities and some specialist commercial and industrial properties. The Valuation Office Agency do not normally collect turnover information on retail premises.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will make it her policy to vary business rates according to (a) region, (b) local authority and (c) super output area to encourage business growth in areas of deprivation. 
John Healey: We have no plans to change the current system of uniform business rates under which the same multipliers are applied to the rateable value of property in all parts of England, providing certainty to business. However, changes in the relative value of different sectors and regions are reflected in rates bills, as the rateable value of property is based upon annual rental values and reassessed every five years.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 31 March 2009, Official Report, column 48WS, on revenue protection, what proportion of business ratepayers are expected to spread payment of the increases in their business rates. 
John Healey: The Government will publish an impact assessment when it tables the regulations implementing the deferral scheme in Parliament. Analysis of the benefits of the scheme for ratepayers will be included in that document.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 31 March 2009, Official Report, column 48WS, on revenue protection, what the estimated cost to the Exchequer is of spreading payment of business rate bills in each of the next three years. 
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