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Urban Housing Renewal Unit

Volume 100: debated on Wednesday 25 June 1986

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60.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will make a statement on the latest progress made by his urban housing renewal unit.

The unit has just completed its first year and its progress is described in its first annual report which was published this month. I have arranged for copies to be placed in the Library.The report records successful collaboration with local authorities on schemes involving 23 rundown council estates, and I am pleased to announce my right hon. Friend's favourable response to proposals for a further 10 schemes submitted by the local authorities as listed.

AuthorityEstateTargeted UHRU HIP resources £Targeted UHRU UP resources £Description
HartlepoolSt. Abbs walk (104 dwellings103,000156,000Security measures including more effective controls over access to flats and environmental improvements.
North TynesideWillington square (24 dwellings)188,000Security measures; improvements to dwellings and environment including better heating and insulation.
North TynesidePerth gardens-Purley close (64 dwellings240,000Conversions and improvement for sale scheme for 32 dwellings; new access and car parking facilities.
NewcastleNorth Kenton (72 dwellings)615,000Remodelling of estate to produce more conventional family housing with private gardens and defensible space which will help to counter vandalism and improve security.
HyndburnHuncoat (502 dwellings)240,00076,604Improvements to dwellings, including heating systems and insulation; Community Refurbishment Scheme to improve estate environment and security; private sector acquisition and improvement of 24 houses.
RochdaleKirkholt (2,288 dwellings)1,000,000Repairs and improvements to 600 dwellings; including better heating and insulation; a Priority Estates Project; introduction of diversity of tenures involving up to 130 dwellings initially.
ManchesterMiles Platting (4,200)952,000Conversion of 318 four-storey maisonettes to two-storey houses; creation of defensible space and private gardens for residents; better heating and insulation and other repairs and improvements.
BoltonNew Bury (1,200)912,000External modernisation of 174 houses including some environmental and security works; improvement for sale scheme on 24 flats; disposal of vacant site for new private housing.
HullNewtown court (186)451,000Security and environmental improvements to estate; modernisation of block of 24 flats including better heating and insulation; a Priority Estates Project.
NewhamClements avenue (152)250,000Security and anti-vandal measures; improvements to estates layout and environment.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the annual cost of running the urban housing renewal unit; how many homes were renewed under this scheme in each of the last three years; at what cost; and if he will make a statement.

The urban housing renewal unit was set up on 19 June 1985. In the financial year 1985–86 the cost of running it — including consultancies — was £362,187. The forecast cost for 1986–87 is £481,000.In its first 12 months, the unit has concentrated on visiting over 100 local authorities to offer advice and assistance on over 200 specific estates comprising more than 80,000 homes. Nearly 50 authorities have submitted proposals to the unit in respect of some 135 estates. We have now approved package solutions for 33 estates (including 10 which I have announced today) in 23 local authorities, covering some 21,000 homes and involving £18·7 million of expenditure in 1986–87. Many more schemes are at an advanced stage of consideration.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will report on the visit by the urban housing renewal unit to Cannock Chase; and if approval has been given for funding for the Rawnsley estate.

Members from the urban housing renewal unit visited Cannock Chase on 6 December last. They were impressed by the work which the Council was doing, in co-operation with the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders, to improve the environment on the Rawnsley estate and the steps which

I have agreed in principle for additional resources to be made available in 1986–87. The estates which will benefit are as follows:

the Council were taking to introduce local housing management. The unit also discussed with the council measures to uplift the Springfield estate in Rugeley.

A decision on the council's application for additional housing investment programme resources for works to the Rawnsley estate will be made shortly.