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John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance his Department has issued to local authorities on their role in assisting young people to secure permanent accommodation. 
The Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities (July 2006)-provides a summary of the homelessness legislation and the duties, powers and obligations on housing authorities and others towards people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. In addition to this we have published:
Joint working between Housing and Children's Services: Preventing homelessness and tackling its effects on children and young people (May 2008)
Making a difference: Supported lodgings as a housing option for young people (October 2008)
An accommodation self assessment toolkit for the Socially Excluded Adults Public Service Agreement (November 2009)
Homelessness prevention and meeting housing need for (ex)offenders: A guide to practice (November 2009)
Preventing Homelessness: A Strategy Health Check (September 2006)
Homelessness Prevention-a guide to good practice (June 2006)
Local authorities are legally required to prepare a pathway plan setting out the support that will be provided to care leavers so that they can make a positive transition from their care placement to more independent
accommodation. This plan will include details of any services that the individual young person might need so that they are able to successfully manage a future tenancy.
Regulations and Guidance setting out the responsibilities of local authorities to support care leavers so that they have the best chance to succeed in their accommodation was issued in 2001, at the time of the introduction of the provisions of the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000.
As well as producing and publishing this guidance we make available other local authority prevention tools and good practice information aimed specifically at assisting young people on our National Youth Homelessness website.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what mechanisms exist for (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) local authorities to assist young people in securing permanent accommodation. 
Mr. Ian Austin: CLG employ a team of homelessness advisors, seconded from local authorities, to advise and support local authorities with their homelessness strategies. In particular, identifying and promoting good practice and opportunities to improve efficiency in tackling and preventing homelessness effectively.
The Supporting People programme also funds housing-related support to vulnerable people, including young people, to help them to live more independently. For example, Supporting People funded services might support a vulnerable young person or teenage parent to develop life skills which enable them to maintain a tenancy, such as understanding a tenancy agreement, or budgeting; or they might provide support to access training, education or employment which can help young people to develop a more stable home life. In 2007-08, over £136 million was spent on housing-related support services for vulnerable young people, and over £23 million was spent on services for teenage parents.
The homelessness legislation (Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996) provides a safety net for vulnerable young people who become homeless through no fault of their own. Under the legislation, local housing authorities must secure suitable accommodation for applicants who are eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and fall within a priority need group. The priority need groups include young people aged 16 or 17, young people aged between 18 and 20 who were previously in care, and young people
Local authorities are responsible for allocating settled social (either within their own stock or by nomination to housing associations in their district) to those on the waiting list, including young people, who have appropriate priority under the authority's allocation scheme.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what support (a) his Department and (b) its agencies provide to young people leaving foyer schemes to assist them in securing permanent accommodation. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Foyer schemes and other forms of supported accommodation are designed to help young people gain the skills they will require to live independently and to secure their own settled accommodation.
The Supporting People programme provides revenue funds for local authorities to commission housing related support services for vulnerable people in their area, to enable them to develop these essential independent living skills. Data relaying to the supply of and spend on supporting people housing related support services is collected retrospectively. The following table shows the amount spent on three young people client groups by service type and accommodation type for 2007-08.
|2007-08 Supporting people spend on three young person client groups, by service type and accommodation type|
|Primary Client Group|
|Service type||Accommodation type (where applicable)||Teenage parents||Young people at risk||Young people leaving care||Grand total|
Some young people may yet still require additional help and that is why Communities and Local Government allocated over £220 million to local authorities and the voluntary sector between 2008-09 to 2010-11 to help them prevent and tackle homelessness in their areas.
The homelessness legislation (Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996) provides a safety net for vulnerable young people who become homeless through no fault of their own. Under the legislation, local housing authorities must secure suitable accommodation for applicants who are eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and fall within a priority need group. The priority need groups include young people aged 16 or 17, young people aged between 18 and 20 who were previously in care, and young people aged 21 or over who are vulnerable as a result of having spent time in care. The duty continues until an offer of a settled home can be made.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to which third parties the Homes and Communities Agency is liable for the additional consideration on development assets referred to on page 87 of its Annual Report 2009; and if he will make a statement. 
John Healey: Further to the information provided in note 31(c) on page 87 of the Homes and Communities Agency's (HCA) financial statement 2008-09, the third party referred to in the note is the Department of Health. The surplus public sector land referred to as being transferred to the agency in 2005-06, was a portfolio of 96 sites.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much land was owned by the Homes and Communities Agency in each of the last three years; what percentage of the land currently owned by the agency has been granted planning permission; and what percentage of the land is expected to be developed within the next (a) six and (b) 12 months. 
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to which third parties the Homes and Communities Agency is liable to for the community related asset transfers listed on page 87 of the Homes and Communities Agency Annual Report 2009; and if he will make a statement. 
John Healey: To disclose this information would prejudice the commercial interests of the Homes and Communities Agency, as the transfer of these assets may take time and will be subject to ongoing financial negotiations.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield of 30 November 2009, Official Report, column 499W, on departmental contracts, which bodies are recorded as having contracts with the Homes and Communities Agency. 
John Healey: A list of all the bodies having contracts with the Homes and Communities Agency has been deposited in the Library of the House. There are over 1,000 entries on the list which do not include non-contractual commitments, multiple entries for the same firm, or details of contracts entered into with individuals.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will assess the effect on the housing market of Government policy on the provision of social care; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ian Austin: The National Strategy for Housing in an Ageing Society, "Lifetime Homes, Lifetime Neighbourhoods", recognises the challenges of an ageing society, and the impact on the demand for housing which is adaptable to people's changing needs and enables people to live more independently at home. The housing target of 240,000 new homes a year from 2016 onwards reflects long-term needs and changes in the age and type of households projected over the next 20 years.
"Lifetime Homes, Lifetime Neighbourhoods" also recognises the increasing need for specialised housing such as care homes and extra care housing, and we welcome the recent report from the Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation, which makes recommendations which aim to improve the choice and availability of specialised housing for older people.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the merits of proposals for a fabric energy efficiency standard for zero carbon homes. 
John Healey: I announced in a written ministerial statement on 16 July 2009, Official Report, columns 42-49WS, the formation of a specialist task group to advise on the minimum energy efficiency standard for zero carbon homes. Following the work of that task group, the report of which I have placed in the Library of the House, I announced in a further written ministerial statement on 24 November 2009, Official Report, columns 42-44WS, that:
I am satisfied the task group's recommendations strike the right balance between a high level of ambition and a standard that can be realised in practice by 2016;
I intend to use this standard within the definition of zero carbon homes; and
I will be using our forthcoming consultation on updating the Code for Sustainable Homes to confirm that there are no unintended consequences from this standard and to seek views on the energy efficiency standard to be adopted in 2013.
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