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Housing: Affordable Homes

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 1 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent assessment she has made of the impact of equity leaseback schemes. (198161)

In June 2005 DTZ Pieda were commissioned by the Government to review existing equity release schemes. The report and summary were published in April 2007 and can be viewed on the following link:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/housing/loanfinance

Local authorities are expected to offer packages of assistance to help ensure that resources can be used more efficiently and effectively to help more people with reduced reliance on public funding. This could include equity release schemes although this is at the discretion of the local authority.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average public subsidy per dwelling for a property was under the (a) Social Market Homebuy, (b) New Build Homebuy and (c) Open Market Homebuy schemes in 2007-08. (203061)

The following table shows the average grant provided through the Housing Corporation’s National Affordable Housing Programme for each of the homebuy products in the financial year 2007-08.

Product

Average grant (£)

Social Homebuy

12,210

New Build Homebuy

21,399

Open Market Homebuy

28,854

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many affordable homes have been built in Romsey constituency in each year since 1997. (203075)

Information on affordable homes by constituency is not available. Information for Test Valley local authority, which covers Romsey and Andover, is in the following table. The figures include social rent and intermediate affordable housing new build; they exclude affordable housing acquisitions.

New build affordable homes in Test Valley local authority

New affordable homes—new builds

1997-98

50

1998-99

45

1999-2000

47

2000-01

73

2001-02

38

2002-03

117

2003-04

24

2004-05

56

2005-06

69

2006-07

81

Source: Registered social landlord new build figures from the Housing Corporation, local authority new build completions from P2 returns.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will take steps to ensure that new residential developments in housing hotspots reflect local housing need, with particular reference to the need for affordable family homes. (203176)

Planning Policy Statement 3 Housing (PPS3) expects local planning authorities and regions to take a positive, plan-led approach to providing the right quantity of housing, both market and affordable, to address need and demand in their areas, and the right quality and mix of housing for their communities, based on a robust evidence-based approach. This is why PPS3 asks local planning authorities to carry out strategic housing market assessments, which should then inform the planning process.

In particular, PPS3 requires authorities to assess local need for affordable housing so that they can set appropriate targets for the amount of housing to be provided in their plans, including specifying the size and type of housing such as those for families that, in their judgment, is likely to be required.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will take steps to ensure that local authorities use appropriate mechanisms to require that homes for sale which were granted planning consent as affordable are sold to people who are on a low income and not purchased by investors to be let at an unaffordable rent. (203177)

Local planning authorities can enter into planning obligations with persons with an interest in land (“developers”); to provide affordable housing in line with the needs identified in their local development plans; to restrict the occupancy of a new residential development in accordance with their local development plan policies; and restrict the sale of affordable housing units to specific organisations (for example a registered social landlord), and define affordable housing in ways to ensure that the units are sold or rented at prices that are affordable to the local community.