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Housing

Volume 451: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what proportion of new housing built on brownfield sites in the 12 months to 1 April was built on garden or playing field sites; (64947)

(2) what assessment has been made of the change in the amount of garden space in urban and suburban areas since May 1997.

I have been asked to reply.

The information requested on gardens is not available centrally. The extent of garden space compared to curtilage of previous building is not recorded in land use change statistics on development of previously developed land.

Outdoor recreation is classified as an undeveloped use, not as brownfield. In 2004 2 per cent. of new dwellings were provided on land that was previously outdoor recreation, down from 4 per cent. in 1994 and 3 per cent. in 1997. Planning policy on open space and recreation is set out in planning Policy Guidance 17 (PPG17) (July 2002) which states that existing open space, sports and recreational building and land should not be built on unless an assessment has been undertaken which has clearly shown the open space or the buildings and land to be surplus to requirement. In addition new investment has brought other kinds of brownfield land back into use for outdoor recreation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the effect of large bonus payments to people employed in the financial services industry on house prices in London. (99369)

As part of the Government’s response to the Barker Review of Housing Supply, the Government undertook detailed analysis and modelling of affordability, as detailed in the research publication “Affordability Targets: Implications for Housing Supply” (ODPM, 2005). The modelling took into account rising incomes over the period and this analysis contributed to the decision to set an ambition to increase housing supply to a level of 200,000 annual net additions by 2016. It looked at long term prices, rather than short term pressures in individual locations. The new National Housing and Planning Advice Unit will provide more detailed assessments for regions and local areas.

At an aggregate level house prices are affected by a wide range of variables, including interest rates, level of household income and flexibility of the credit market.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many projected additional households are attributable to each of the principal factors generating additional households in each year from 2003 to 2026. (94218)

An analysis of the components of growth in household numbers as projected by the 2003-based household projections produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government is tabulated. Household growth has been split into the four principal factors generating additional households. The changes are best viewed over several years as tabulated.

The factors are:

(a) the projected growth of the total adult private household population;

(b) the change in the age structure of the population;

(c) changes in the marital status of the population, including proportions cohabiting, as well as legal marital status; and

(d) changes in household formation rates specific for age, sex, legal marital status and cohabitation.

The table includes a “remainder” column, which shows the change due to interaction between the components, for instance, the combined effect of increasing population and changes in the age distribution.

Components of the projected increase in households 2003-26: England

Thousand

Adult population

Age structure

Marital status

Household formation rates

Remainder

Total

2003-06

410

19

-15

160

6

580

2006-11

690

144

-18

249

16

1,081

2011-16

607

294

-2

223

16

1,139

2016-21

582

292

-7

195

15

1,076

2021-26

507

255

-7

168

9

932

Source:

2003-based household projections (DCLG and APU)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was spent on affordable housing in each of the last 20 years. (93797)

The following table shows the amount of expenditure through the Housing Corporation on affordable housing since 1992-93. This does not include expenditure through English Partnerships for example on the first time buyers initiative or the London Wide initiative. Nor does it include investment in affordable housing through section 106 agreements.

£ million

Affordable Housing Programme

Local Authority Social Housing Grant

Safer Communities Supported Housing Fund

Starter Home Initiative

Other

Total

1992-93

2,284

399

0

0

21

2,704

1993-94

1,761

443

0

0

33

2,238

1994-95

1,441

372

0

0

46

1,859

1995-96

1,112

370

0

0

41

1,523

1996-97

1,007

349

0

0

23

1,380

1997-8

667

363

0

0

60

1,090

1998-9

603

335

0

0

129

1,067

1999-2000

635

328

0

0

180

1,143

2000-01

727

400

0

0

103

1,230

2001-02

799

410

9

2

13

1,233

2002-03

925

499

27

67

11

1,529

2003-04

1,590

249

27

172

16

2,054

2004-05

1,600

35

11

7

18

1,671

2005-06 1

1,599

23

2

0

9

1,632

2006-07 2

1,958

0

0

0

20

1,841

2007-08 2

1,945

0

0

0

20

2,015

1 Provisional

2 Forecast

This table represents the investment the Government have made via the Housing Corporation to registered social landlords for the provision and repair of affordable housing for both rent and low cost home ownership.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 4 September 2006, Official Report, column 1664W, on housing, (1) in which local authority areas transactions have been completed under the Social Homebuy scheme; and how many transactions have been completed in each area; (94555)

(2) which (a) housing associations and (b) local authorities participate in the Social Homebuy scheme;

(3) how many housing associations are participating in the Social Homebuy scheme;

(4) how many social tenants are eligible for the Social HomeBuy scheme.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many completed transactions of the sale or part-sale of homes have taken place under the Social Homebuy scheme. (95841)

The Social Homebuy scheme is anew programme for secure and assured tenants of participating local authorities and housing associations. To qualify individuals must have been public sector tenants for at least two years (five years for tenancies granted on or after 18 January 2005).

Four housing associations (Notting Hill Housing Trust, Guinness Trust, Sovereign Housing Group and Places for People) and one local authority, the London borough of Southwark, have begun to pilot the new Social Homebuy scheme. The pilots were launched in late 2005 by inviting expressions of interest. The next stage was for landlords to supply key information to the potential purchasers who have expressed an interest on property values and likely costs, so that they could decide whether they wished to make a formal application. The first applications and sales are now starting to come through. Transactions typically take longer than house sales because landlords also carry out affordability checks to ensure purchasers can sustain home ownership. Over 150 applications are in the pipeline, with five sales completed and more expected shortly.

Of the five sales completed so far, three have been in the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, one was in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the remaining one was in Chorley in Lancashire.

A further 38 housing associations intend to offer the Social Homebuy scheme from April 2007. The names of these housing associations are set out as follows. In addition the Housing Corporation announced details on 13 October of a further bidding round for housing associations to be funded to offer the scheme which will start on 30 October. A number of local authorities in London and elsewhere are also working up plans for pilots.

RSLs offering Social HomeBuy in 2006-08

London region

Broomleigh Housing Association

Catalyst Housing Group

Circle Anglia

Dominion Housing Group

Downland Housing Association

Family Housing group

Gallions Housing Association

Genesis Housing Group

London and Quadrant

Metropolitan Housing Partnership

Moat Housing Group

Mosaic Housing Association Ltd.

Notting Hill Housing Group

Peabody Trust

Places for People Group

Presentation Housing Association

Southern Housing Group

Region—South East

Sentinel

Testway Housing

Southern Housing Group

Places for People

Moat

Sovereign Housing Association

Aldwyck

Dominion Housing Group

Oxford Citizens Housing Association

Region—East of England

Aldwyck

Genesis

Nene Housing Society

Region—South West

Western Challenge

Evesham and Pershore Housing Ass.

Gloucestershire Housing Association

Somer Community Housing Trust

Devon and Cornwall Housing Association

Knightstone Housing Association Ltd.

Sovereign Housing Group

Region—East Midlands

Places for People

Nene Housing Society

Region—West Midlands

Bromford

Evesham and Pershore

Mercian

West Mercia

Region—North East

Places for People

Three Rivers Housing Association

Region—North West

CDS Housing Association Ltd.

Cosmopolitan

Greater Hornby

Places for People

William Sutton Housing Association

Riverside

Knowsley Housing Trust

Region—Yorkshire and Humber

Places for People Group

William Sutton

Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Early pilots—most regions

Notting Hill Housing Group

Places for People

Sovereign Housing Association

Guinness

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what percentage of social housing provided in the south-east of England is allocated to (a) asylum seekers, (b) foreign nationals who have indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom and (c) foreign nationals who have further leave to remain in the United Kingdom. (95234)

Information on the allocation of local authority dwellings is collected quarterly on the Department for Communities and Local Government’s P1(E) form. Between April and June 2006 (the most recent quarter for which data are available), 60 out of the 67 authorities in the south eastern region reported data. Data on lettings by Registered Social Landlords are not collected by these categories of foreign nationals.

(a) Asylum seekers are not eligible for social housing.

(b) Between April and June 2006, local authorities in the south-east region reported 14 out of an estimated 2,855 total new local authority lettings to foreign nationals who had refugee status or indefinite leave to remain.

(c) There is no specific class of eligibility for social housing for persons granted further leave to remain. However, persons granted exceptional leave to remain, discretionary leave or humanitarian protection will be eligible to be housed. Between April and June 2006, local authorities in the south-east region reported three out of an estimated 2,855 total new local authority lettings went to foreign nationals who remained here on grounds of either exceptional leave to remain, discretionary leave or humanitarian protection.

The most recent data available on “total” new LA lettings come from the Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix, and are for 2004-05. There is estimated to have been a total of 2,855 new LA lettings in a quarter.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the potential effect on the housing market of a shortage of Energy Performance Certificate inspectors. (96677)

The Department has estimated that between 2,500 and 4,500 inspectors will be needed to produce Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) together with voluntary home condition reports for marketed residential sales when EPCs become mandatory in June 2007. There are reported to be 4,470 home inspector candidates who are either in or have completed their training.

A report commissioned by the former Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and carried out by National Energy Services concluded that there is also a potential pool of suitably skilled individuals prepared to undergo training and become qualified as domestic energy assessors, who could produce EPCs. Training courses offering such a qualification are expected to be available in early 2007, with candidates able to qualify in time for June 2007. Therefore there are plenty of available candidates to prevent a shortage or any impact on the market.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she expects to announce allocations from the next round of decent homes 2006 housing transfer and arm’s length management organisations programme bidding. (96782)

On 18 October I announced that 29 schemes had been awarded places on the 2006 Housing Transfer Programme and that places for a further 20 schemes were being held open for further discussions with applicants. The results of bids for places on round 6 of the arm’s length management organisation programme will be announced later in the year.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many shared-equity homes have been (a) built and (b) made available on the market in Coventry, South in each of the last three years. (98883)

The following table shows homes provided through shared equity in Coventry in each of the last three years via the Housing Corporation's Affordable Housing Programme and Local Authority Social Housing Grant. The information requested is not available at constituency level.

Shared Ownership

Open Market Purchase

2003-04

4

7

2004-05

10

0

2005-06

0

7

Source: Housing Corporation

Shared Ownership includes both new build and those acquired and refurbished.

Allocations provided through the Housing Corporation's Affordable Housing Programme 2006-08 are expected to deliver 123 new build Homebuy (formerly shared ownership) units in Coventry.

This does not include any shared ownership homes funded entirely under section 106.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what percentage of homes built in Coventry, South since 1997 have been affordable social housing. (98885)

Since 1 April 1997, 25 per cent. of all dwellings built in Coventry have been for affordable housing (social rent and low cost home ownership). Information specific to the Coventry, South constituency is not held centrally.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many children are living in households which are statutorily overcrowded in (a) Luton, (b) Bedfordshire and (c) England. (99472)

Reliable estimates of overcrowding based on the statutory standard are not available because the underlying data are not collected systematically. A one-off estimate was made in 2003 that approximately 20,000 households across the whole of England were in conditions of overcrowding that breached the statutory standard. This estimate was based on data from the “Survey of English Housing” for the period 2000-01 to 2002-03 and from the 2001 “English House Condition Survey”. However, no further estimate was made of how many children were living in these 20,000 households.

Estimates of the number of households in Luton, Bedfordshire and the whole of the United Kingdom that are statutorily overcrowded are also not available.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much gap funding has been provided for stock transfer of council homes to registered social landlords; from which of her Department's budgets this funding was drawn; and how much additional gap funding local authorities have requested in the latest transfer round. (99545)

A total of £182 million has been made available for gap funding over the period of the SR2004, up to 2007-08. We have entered into 13 gap funding agreements with RSLs up to the value of £203 million for periods of up to 10 years. Since March 2005 to 31 October 2006, payments totalling £21.4 million have been made from the Department's Capital DEL budget under these arrangements.

We received applications for places on the 2006 Housing Transfer Programme for 23 schemes from 15 authorities where the negative valuation totals around minus £700 million and gap funding arrangements may be required.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) which (a) individuals, (b) authorities and (c) other organisations have responded to her Department’s discussion paper, Tackling Overcrowding in England; and if she will place copies of the responses in the Library; (99573)

(2) when she expects to make a statement on the new standard she plans to introduce to measure statutory overcrowding.

We have received over 100 responses to our discussion paper ‘Tackling Overcrowding in England’. My officials are currently reviewing these responses. We expect to publish the Government’s response shortly, and will at the same time place copies of all responses to the discussion paper in the Library of the House, except in cases where confidentially has been requested.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what progress has been made on the London Housing Board’s target that 35 per cent. of new social housing in 2006 to 2008 will have three or more bedrooms; and if she will make a statement. (99574)

Allocations from the National Affordable Housing Programme in London for 2006-07 to 2007-08 will deliver 34.5 per cent. of social rented homes with three or more bedrooms. This reflects the priority in the London Housing Strategy 2005-16 to increase the supply of larger family homes in the social sector. As schemes allocated funding for 2006-07 to 2007-08 will deliver completed homes over a number of years, it is too early to say what progress is being made.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the funding required to enable those local authorities who face a shortfall in resources to meet the Decent Homes target. (99578)

In order to bring in the investment needed to make all social housing decent, we provide additional ways to support local authorities who need additional funding to make their homes decent on top of the resources provided through the Housing Revenue Account.

By 31 March 2008, £182 million will have been made available for gap-funded transfers, £3.7 billion for arm’s length management organisations and £2.7 billion for PFI schemes. Future levels of funding for gap-funded transfers and ALMOs are being negotiated as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review process.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many shared equity homes have been (a) built and (b) made available on the market in (i) Chorley and (ii) Lancashire in each of the last three years. (98044)

The following table shows homes provided via the Housing Corporation's Affordable Housing Programme and Local Authority Social Housing Grant through shared equity in both Chorley and Lancashire in each of the last three years.

Chorley

Lancashire1

2003-04

Shared Ownership

4

79

Open Market Purchase

2004-05

Shared Ownership

13

58

Open Market Purchase

2005-06

Shared Ownership

19

62

Open Market Purchase

1

1 Lancashire, for the purposes of this response, includes the following local authorities: Burnley, Chorley, Fylde, Hyndburn, Lancaster, Pendle, Preston, Ribble Valley, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire and Wyre.

Shared Ownership includes both new build and those acquired and refurbished.

Allocations provided through the Housing Corporation’s Affordable Housing Programme 2006-08 are expected to deliver six new build shared ownership units in Chorley and 221 new build shared ownership properties in Lancashire.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government following the publication of Appendix 7 of Milton Keynes Partnership’s MK2031 document outlining the proposals for the demolition of houses in Milton Keynes, how many houses she expects to be demolished in Milton Keynes. (98110)

The Government are committed to increasing housing growth in Milton Keynes as detailed in the Milton Keynes and South Midlands Sub-Regional Strategy. Detailed decisions are a matter for Milton Keynes Partnership and Milton Keynes council. However, we are not aware they have any plans to demolish houses.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what percentage of homes built in (a) Oxfordshire and (b) the Wantage constituency since 1997 have been affordable social housing. (98240)

Since 1 April 1997, 22 per cent. of all dwellings built in Oxfordshire have been affordable social housing. Information specific to the Wantage constituency is not held centrally. However, 24 per cent. of all dwellings built since 1 April 1997 in the local authority Vale of White Horse have been affordable social housing.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many extra houses are planned for the Crawley and Horsham area over the next 12 months. (97956)

Crawley borough council’s projected figure for new housing building in the year 2006-07 is 269 units, and for the year 2007-08 it is 384 units. Horsham district council’s projected figure for new housing building in the year 2006-07 is 406 units, and for the year 2007-08 it is 410 units. These figures are taken from the annual monitoring report projected figures provided by the councils.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what definition of overcrowding her Department uses in assessing housing shortages; and if she will make a statement. (97264)

The current national statutory overcrowding standards (the Room Standard and the Space Standard) are set out in Part X of the Housing Act 1985 which restates standards that have remained unchanged since 1935. Under the Housing Act a dwelling is overcrowded if either of the standards is contravened:

The Room Standard is breached if two people of opposite sexes who are not living together as husband and wife must sleep in the same room. Living rooms and kitchens as well as bedrooms can be treated as available sleeping accommodation. Children under 10 do not count.

The Space Standard specifies the number of people who may sleep in a dwelling according to the number of rooms and their floor area. Two calculations are required and the lower number applies. Babies under one year do not count, and children under 10 count as half.

The Government have recently consulted on updating the statutory standards. Recent estimates of overcrowding based on the statutory standard are not available because the underlying data are not collected systematically. A one-off estimate was made in 2003 that approximately 20,000 households across the whole of England were in conditions of overcrowding that breached the statutory standard. This estimate was based on data from the Survey of English Housing for the period 2000-01 to 2002-03 and from the 2001 English House Condition Survey.

The Bedroom Standard has been used as the statistical benchmark (for example, in the Survey of English Housing) for measuring overcrowding since the 1960s. It differs considerably from the statutory standards. About 525,000 households are currently overcrowded by the Bedroom Standard. This is about 2.5 per cent. of households.

DCLG uses the statutory standards, the bedrooms standards, as well as other indicators of housing stress, such as rates of temporary accommodation, to inform decisions about resources for additional housing supply.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many local authority lettings have been made to nationals from the EU accession states since May 2004; and how many have received homelessness assistance in that period. (82908)

A total of 128 local authority lettings have been made to households from the EU accession states since May 2004. These figures include households who have been in the UK since before May 2004. This comprises around 0.04 per cent. of total lettings to all new tenants over the 26 month period.

A total of 524 households from the EU accession states have been accepted as eligible, unintentionally homeless and in priority need, and consequently owed a main homelessness duty, since May 2004. This comprises around 0.2 per cent. of the total number of households accepted over the 26 month period.

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much (a) revenue and (b) capital funding has been spent on (i) new and (ii) existing social housing in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. (63435)

I have been asked to reply.

The following table shows, in total, how much local authorities have invested and plan to invest in their existing stock each year since 1997 through the Housing Revenue Account, the majority of which comes from central Government funding.

Housing Revenue Account

£ million

1997-98

1,563

1998-99

1,660

1999-2000

1,569

2000-01

1,816

2001-02

2,142

2002-03

2,345

2003-04

2,641

2004-05

3,176

2005-06

3,564

2006-07

3,334

2007-08

3,190

Source: Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA).

In addition, Government capital provision in affordable housing, both new and existing, since 1997 is as follows:

£ million

1997-98

1,894

1998-99

2,098

1999-2000

2,173

2000-01

2,866

2001-02

2,696

2002-03

2,943

2003-04

3,964

2004-05

4,135

2005-06

5,223

2006-07

5,347

2007-08

5,665

The capital investment figures included expenditure through the Housing Corporation's Approved Development Programme. Information on how this funding was spent on social rented housing and on existing social housing is as follows:

£ million

Expenditure on social rent provision

Expenditure on existing social rented housing

1997-98

458.21

65.30

1998-99

446.86

40.43

1999-2000

522.95

34.43

2000-01

576.47

59.62

2001-02

647.16

67.42

2002-03

761.69

44.80

2003-04

1,174.81

53.70

2004-05

1,050.03

46.85

2005-061

960

33.8

2006-082

2,820

59.4

1 Provisional. 2 Estimate. Notes:1. Expenditure on social rent provision includes both new build and additions to the stock which are acquired and refurbished. 2. The figures for existing social housing include expenditure on major repairs and works to Registered Social Landlord stock. Source: Housing Corporation.