|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans he has to increase the number of dwellings available for low-cost home ownership in Leeds West constituency. 
John Healey: There is substantial investment in the Leeds city area in low cost home ownership to deliver additional affordable homes, data are not available by constituency only by local authority. The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has two principal products for low cost home ownership, homebuy direct which is an equity share model and new build homebuy which is shared ownership with a housing association or other provider. In addition to the National Affordable Housing programme, provision of these homes has also been accelerated through the additional funding made available through the Building Britain's Future initiative, notably Kickstart.
HCA published half year performance statistics to end September 2009, this showed 44 units of homebuy direct delivered in Leeds city area in the financial year. In addition, 20 low cost homeownership units have been delivered in Leeds this financial year through the National Affordable Housing programme. Outturn completions for 2008-09 also showed 110 units in Leeds.
Kickstart round 1 allocated over £50 million in Yorkshire and Humber subject to funding conditions. This includes substantial schemes in Leeds including elements of shared ownership or homebuy direct.
Kickstart round 2 will allocate over £30 million in Yorkshire and Humber subject to funding conditions. There are a total of 23 schemes in the region, with one in Leeds supporting the delivery of approximately 1,488 homes by March 2012.
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what steps he plans to take to increase the number of dwellings available for low-cost home ownership in the Leeds city area; 
John Healey: There is substantial investment in West Yorkshire and the Leeds City area to deliver additional affordable homes, including both rented and low cost home ownership homes. Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has two principal products for low cost home ownership, Homebuy Direct, which is an equity share model and Newbuild Homebuy which is shared ownership with a housing association or other provider. In addition to existing programmes such as the National Affordable Housing Programme, the provision of these homes has been accelerated through the additional funding made available through the Building Britain's Future initiative, notably Kickstart and the Local Authority Newbuild Programme.
Low cost home ownership is a valuable tool in securing a mix of tenures in sustainable communities, and in providing wider access to home ownership. HCA works
very closely with local authorities and partners to determine the most appropriate and sustainable mix of tenures in a given location and actively encourages the provision of low cost home ownership choices.
75 units of Homebuy Direct have been completed in West Yorkshire, including 44 in Leeds local authority area. (HCA published half year performance statistics). In addition, outturn completions of low cost home ownership units delivered through the National Affordable Housing Programme 2008-09, was 313 units in West Yorkshire of which 110 were in Leeds.
Kickstart Round 1 allocated over £15 million to West Yorkshire subject to funding conditions. This includes £9 million allocated to four schemes in Leeds, and a further £6 million to one scheme in Kirklees and two in Wakefield. All but one of these schemes will include an element of Homebuy Direct or shared ownership.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the re-establishment of the Al-Muhajiroun organisation in the UK on community relations. 
Mr. Malik: The Department of Communities and Local Government does not carry out assessments on the effect of the activity of extremist groups. These issues are a matter for the police both in their assessment of risk in communities and in tackling individuals that break the law.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the names and addresses are of each organisation that supplied goods or services to the Audit Commission in 2008-09. 
Your Parliamentary Question outlined above has been passed to me to reply.
The Audit Commission was supplied with goods and services from 1,175 suppliers in 2008/09.
The names and addresses of these suppliers are attached to this letter.
A copy of this letter will be placed in Hansard and the table will be available in the House of Commons Library.
David T.C. Davies:
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many Christmas trees were purchased by his Department and
its agencies in each of the last five years; what the cost was of those trees in each year; from where the trees were sourced; what account was taken of the sustainability of the sources of the trees; and by what process the trees were disposed of. 
|Number of trees||Cost (£)|
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to his Department's press release of 14 October 2009, on connecting communities, what practical actions will be funded under the programme. 
Mr. Malik: Each area taking part in the Connecting Communities programme has drawn up individual plans which address specific challenges and practical actions for their area. These plans focus on giving people a bigger say in local issues, addressing specific local concerns and increasing access to local services and opportunities.
In Speke, in Liverpool there was concern about a lack of jobs and whether jobs were going to local people. Through the Connecting Communities programme local agencies are now working with young people and single parents in particular to link them up with opportunities under the Future Jobs Fund. Further practical actions taken forward by other areas have included forming a neighbourhood's first ever community group (Stanney, Ellesmere Port), developing neighbourhood agreements (Felling, Gateshead), setting up a Youth Action Group (New Parks, Leicester).
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he expects the new duty to tackle socio-economic disadvantage proposed in the Equality Bill to require local authorities to (a) adjust their housing waiting list policies and (b) complete an equality impact assessment of changes they propose to make to their housing waiting list policies; and whether he has made an assessment of the likely effects on the powers of local authorities in respect of the priority given to local residents in such policies. 
Mr. Ian Austin:
The provision in the Equality Bill would require local authorities to give due regard to the desirability of tackling socio-economic inequalities when making strategic decisions about how to exercise their functions. We would expect this duty to apply to authorities
when framing their allocation scheme and the new statutory guidance on social housing allocation issued to local authorities on 4 December made this clear. However, this will not be the only factor authorities will need to take into consideration when developing their allocation policies; local authorities will need to balance several strategic objectives, such as promoting the local economy, and promoting community cohesion.
We would expect and strongly recommend that local authorities carry out an equality impact assessment of any significant change to their allocation policies to ensure compliance with the authority's legal equality duties.
We recognise that local authorities may wish to adopt allocation policies which give greater priority to people with a local connection to the district. We do not believe that the duty to tackle socio-economic inequalities should affect a local authority's power to do so. Indeed authorities may decide that local disadvantage should be addressed by giving more priority to local people with housing needs.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he expects the Minister of State for Housing to make a decision on whether First Choice Homes Oldham will be allowed to ballot its tenants on a stock transfer to a Registered Social Landlord. 
Council tax benefit is a non-contributory, income-related, social security benefit that provides help to people with low incomes to pay their council tax. It is administered by local authorities. People may qualify if they are liable for council tax in respect of the home they are resident in and are aged over 18. Entitlement is based on financial circumstances and may be paid to people in or out of work. Homeowners, as well as people who rent, may be eligible on this basis.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much public funding has been provided to political parties and their associated political groups under the 'Be a Councillor' programme. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The 'Be a Councillor' programme is run by the Leadership Centre for Local Government, a registered charity. Communities and Local Government has contributed £50,000 to the programme in 2009-10. Under the programme, the Leadership Centre gives advice and support to all of the main political parties in England plus smaller parties and independents as defined by the LGA Independent Group, to assist them in attracting a wider and more diverse range of people to become local councillors.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst of 15 June 2009, Official Report, column 17W, on councillors, how many cases of housing benefit fraud by councillors have been identified as a result of the National Fraud Initiative of the Audit Commission. 
Parliamentary Question: with reference to the Answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst of 15 June 2009, Official Report, column 17W, on councillors, how many cases of housing benefit fraud by councillors have been identified as a result of the National Fraud Initiative of the Audit Commission.
Your Parliamentary Question outlined above has been passed to me to reply. I am afraid that we are unable to answer your question as the data submitted does not automatically allow the Audit Commission to distinguish between employees and councillors. This is because the payroll details do not contain the status of the individual.
A copy of this letter will be placed in Hansard.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much his Department spent on works and refurbishment to offices allocated to Ministers in his Department's buildings in the last 12 months. 
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|