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Council Housing: Westminster

Volume 459: debated on Friday 20 April 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many homes she expects to be upgraded in Westminster under the Decent Homes Initiative over the life of the programme; and how much she expects the Government to have spent on the programme over its lifetime. (126445)

In the City of Westminster there are 12,407 homes owned by the local authority and managed by City West Homes the Council’s arm’s length management organisation. The Government have allocated £74 million in supported capital expenditure to City West Homes between 2002 and 2006 for its decent homes programme.

Local authorities started reporting on decent homes in 2002. Between 2002 and 2006 the number of non-decent council homes in Westminster was reduced by 9,665. At 1 April 2006 there were still 1,182 non-decent council homes. Data by local authority for registered social landlords (RSLs) have only been collected since 2005. Between 2005 and 2006 the number of non-decent RSL homes was reduced by 167. At 1 April 2006 there were still 1,706 non-decent RSL homes.

The decent homes programme also covers non decent homes in the private sector occupied by vulnerable households but we do not hold these data at the local authority level.

The cost per house of meeting the decent homes standard varies across the country and the Department does not collect those figures separately. Some local authorities are refurbishing the houses in their area significantly above the decent homes standard. What the improved standard is and how it will be achieved will be determined by local circumstances and the level of resources that can be brought to the programme locally. The Government expect over £31 billion to be spent on refurbishing council homes by 2010, this includes local authorities’ own investment and raising houses above the decent homes standard.