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Housing

Volume 404: debated on Thursday 8 May 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the impact of the proposed withdrawal of Local Authority Social Housing Grant upon the number of new social housing starts in (a) inner London, (b) London and (c) England after the current transitional arrangements are withdrawn. [111759]

Local Authority Social Housing Grant is being ended to allow the resources to be better targeted to achieve the objectives set out in "Sustainable Communities: Building for the Future". No estimates have been made on the impact this will have on the number of social housing dwellings provided, either in total or in particularly locations. That will depend on a number of factors, including, in particular, the recommendations from the new Regional Housing Boards on what and where the available resources should be spent.

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what representations he has received about the Regulatory Reform (Housing Management Agreements) Order. [111733]

Fifty three responses were finally received as a result of the consultation paper on the proposed changes in the Order. Responses had also been received from an earlier consultation, five of which were from persons different to those received from the consultation paper. Details of the majority of the representations can be found in the Explanatory Document on the website of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister at:http://www.housing.odpm.gov.uk/information/hma/index.htm.

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what classes of workers are included in the category of key worker; [111010](2) what criteria his Department uses to identify key workers in relation to the provision of affordable housing; [111009](3) what plans he has to include prison officers in the category of key worker for the provision of affordable housing.[111011]

The key worker groups prioritised for assistance under the Starter Home Initiative and the Challenge Fund are teachers, police, nurses and other essential health workers. This reflects the importance the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister attaches to addressing recruitment and retention problems in the key public services of education, health, and policing.From 2004–05 funding for the provision of key worker housing will be integrated into the Housing Corporation's main affordable housing programme and will target key public sector workers. The Housing Corporation expects to invite bids for key worker housing schemes at the same time as bids for other affordable housing schemes, around September 2003. It will be made clear by that stage which key worker groups will qualify for assistance.