The Government will award up to £12 million to the Urban Living housing market renewal pathfinder. This additional funding is available subject to the pathfinder agreeing to terms in updated funding agreements with the Department. The funding will support urban living to continue good work over the next six months in a range of schemes designed to revise local housing markets in Birmingham and Sandwell. It follows £50 million originally allocated to the pathfinder up until March 2006.
The funding will also support the pathfinder to revise and develop its strategy for the remainder of 2006-08. Urban Living have developed their housing market evidence base significantly since the start of the pathfinder programme. We have asked Urban Living to look again at their proposals for the next two years to respond more fully to this evidence base, and to take account of comments from ourselves and recommendations from the Audit Commission in relation to their original proposals. We hope then to be in a position to allocate further funds for pathfinder expenditure in 2006-08.
We will be assessing Urban Living's revised proposals in the summer of 2006. In the meantime, this initial allocation will enable them to continue important projects already in train, which will contribute to improving their housing market and supporting sustainable communities.