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Housing Corporation

Volume 127: debated on Thursday 11 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will now give details of the Housing Corporation's approved development programme for 1988–89.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment announced on 3 November that the gross provision for the Housing Corporation in 1988–89 would increase by nearly £50 million to £735 million and that we hoped that the extra public resources would increasingly be augmented by private finance under mixed funding arrangements.The £737 million programme we have now approved (which takes account of an additional £2 million in forecast capital receipts) includes provision for the first year's expenditure on a £58 million grant programme for new mixed funding schemes. This should allow the corporation to approve schemes providing some 3,300 homes at a total cost of £126 million—over 25 per cent. more than planned for the current year's experimental programme. This new programme will include at least £20 million worth of schemes to help homeless families and especially those in bed and breakfast accommodation.Provision for the homeless will also be among the priorities for the conventionally funded programme for housing for rent which will be maintained at the same level as 1987–88. And within this programme priority will also be given to reimprovement schemes which, together with increased spending on major repairs, will help bring empty properties back into full use. Another significant area for expansion is the low-cost home ownership programmes under which the corporation should be able to approve nearly one third more new homes than in the current year and which we hope to see expanded further by the introduction of mixed funding wherever possible. In allocating the resources for new rented projects, the percentage of investment in the 81 designated urban stress areas will be maintained, but the guidelines for allocations to rural areas will be revised. Priority will no longer be confined to the designated rural stress areas and schemes will be targeted on smaller and more isolated agricultural settlements with a view to doubling the present level of provision by housing associations in these areas.The breakdown of the approved development programmes for 1988–89 is as follows:

Housing corporation—approved development programme 1988–89
£ million
Net allocation (cash limit)655
Gross allocation737
Conventionally funded projects
1. Contracted expenditure371
2. New tenders approved145
3. New projects approved63
Mixed funding projects
4. Committed expenditure14
5. New projects approved25
Major repairs
6. Committed expenditure28
7. New projects approved10
Mini HAG
8. Committed and new projects3
Improvement for sale, Leasehold for the elderly, shared ownership and home ownership for tenants of charitable associations
9. Comitted expenditure50
10. New projects approved26
11. Mortgages and other expenditure2


1. £7·7 million has been included in Housing for Rent and for Sale to cover the costs of certain projects in Merseyside.

2. The allocation of funds for new conventionally funded rented projects (Block 3) will initiate projects to a total cost of some £510 million to be completed over the next three to four years.

3. The allocation of funds for new mixed funding rented schemes (Block 5) will allow the Corporation to approve schemes requiring a total of £58 million grant.