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Housing Development

Volume 404: debated on Wednesday 7 May 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to his answer of 11 April, Official Report, column 429W, if he will place in the Library a copy of the summary of the responses to the consultation document, The Way Forward for Housing Capital Finance, on which he relied in reaching the decisions reflected in Sustainable Communities: Building for the Future and the Local Government Bill. [110476]

A copy of the summary of responses to the consultation document 'The Way Forward for Housing Capital Finance' has been placed in the library of the House.The consultation paper included proposals on the abolition of the Local Authority Housing Grant (LASHG), capital receipts pooling and reform of the housing capital finance regime.Views were evenly balanced on the proposal to pool capital receipts. There was greater concern about the proposal to abolish LASHG, but many of those responding were under the impression that the resources currently used for LASHG would no longer be available. That was not the intention, and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister therefore determined to abolish LASHG from 1 April this year so as to be able to target the resources more effectively. The resources have been taken fully into account in the Communities Plan, with transitional arrangements to ensure that the most advanced LASHG schemes in the pipeline can continue.

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how the £230 million transitional fund for housing was calculated; what assessment he has made of whether it will cover outstanding projects; and whether it is ringfenced. [110357]

The transitional funding figure was an estimate made on the basis of information provided by the Housing Corporation as to normal levels of commitments by authorities at yearend. The transitional arrangements have since been extended to support investment in housing of up to £550 million in 2003–04, which is higher than in any previous year. The money will be ring-fenced to schemes that could have gone ahead in 2003–04 if LASHG had continued. Details are set out in the statement given on 5 March 2003, Official Report, column. 82WS.