To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will make the allocations to local authorities for their housing investment programme in 1988–89.
My right hon. Friend announced on 3 November 1987 that gross provision for capital expenditure by local authorities on housing in 1988–89 will be £3,048 million —£313 million higher than previous plans. This increase, which will enable local authorities to spend more on renovating their existing stock, has been made possible by the continuing success of the right to buy which has provided local authorities with a growing source of spending power to supplement their capital borrowing.The gross expenditure provision allows for a total housing investment programmes (HIP) allocation of £1,150 million. This represents new borrowing consents for local authorities. Each housing authority is today being informed of its initial HIP allocation for 1988–89. Copies of the letters to local authorities and the schedule of initial allocations have been placed in the Library and the Vote Office.The local authority associations have been consulted about the distribution of HIP allocations. After considering their comments, and bearing in mind his obligation to make allocations in relation to need, my right hon. Friend has decided to make the distribution on the following basis:
— £1,118·5 million is available for main HIP allocations. Every authority will receive at least 75 per cent. of its corresponding allocation for the current year.
— £11·5 million is available for the homes insulation scheme of which £8 million will be distributed with the main HIP allocations. £2·5 million will be reserved for further allocations under the scheme in accordance with demand and the remaining £1 million will be used to defray local authorities' administrative costs.
— £20 million is being reserved for additional allocations at a later date to authorities which face particular difficulties in meeting their obligations under the housing defects legislation.
Special provision has also been made, within the gross expenditure total, for additional allocations totalling £140 million under the estate action scheme. This represents an increase of 87 per cent. over provision for the current year, and reflects the early successes of estate action in assisting authorities to bring new life to run-down estates.
Only the initial allocations are being made today. The letters being sent to local housing authorities describe the procedure under which they can apply for additional allocations.