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Housing Starts

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number of council houses which will be built in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11; and what steps she plans to take to increase the rate of council house building. (234357)

We have announced our intention to change the revenue and capital rules which apply to new council homes in order to remove financial disincentives to new build by local authorities. On 2 September we announced that we will invite all stock-owning local authorities to compete for grant on the same terms as those with special purpose vehicles, in addition to those who have ALMOs or have set up Special Purpose Vehicles for this purpose.

We have also introduced other measures to make it easier for councils to build and acquire new homes. Section 313 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 provides that councils can keep the full rental income from new council homes (including newly built and newly acquired properties).

We expect to consult shortly on the use of section 313 power and the capital receipts regulations which aim to enable councils to benefit in full from rental income or sales receipts from properties that have been built or acquired since this planned change to these rules.

The Government do not publish forecasts for house-building.