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Housing: Advisory Services

Volume 461: debated on Monday 18 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what resources have been provided for the National Housing and Planning Advice Unit to deliver its mission; how many staff are employed in the unit; whether there are any plans to expand the unit’s staffing; and what assessment she has made of the unit's performance to date. (143690)

The National Housing and Planning Advice Unit was established on 7 November 2006 and became fully operational in March. An expert board of six members is steering the work programme of a small technical unit of 12, which includes Economists, Planners and Statisticians. There are no current plans to alter this staffing arrangement.

Funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government for the year 2006-07 amounted to £1.056 million. Funding for 2007-08 has not yet been finalised.

The Unit’s first publication, “Affordability Matters”, was released as part of the Unit’s official launch on 7 June 2007. This document is welcomed by government, and provides compelling evidence of the need to increase housing supply to address affordability problems across the country.