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Housing: Standards

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which local authorities she expects will fail to meet the decent homes target by 2010; and how many authorities have informed her Department that they are selling council housing in order to raise funding to meet the target. (234311)

Details of when we expect each local authority to deliver decent homes were provided in my answer of 28 October 2008, Official Report, column 946W.

Decisions relating to the management of, and investment in, council housing stock are matters entirely for the local authority.

In 2007-08, of the 218 authorities who still operated a Housing Revenue Account 154 undertook some voluntary sale of dwellings to create a capital receipt. We do not hold any systematic data on how many of these used these receipts to invest in delivering decent homes.

The only systematic records we hold are where an authority creates a useable capital receipt from the voluntary sale (not a sale through RTB) of dwellings held within the HRA we do not systematically record precisely what they have used the receipt for—however if the authority wishes to retain the full receipt, rather than returning 50 per cent. to the Secretary of State for pooling, the receipt must be invested in either affordable housing or regeneration but this does not necessarily mean it is used to deliver decent homes.

We do not hold any data on which local authorities are planning to dispose of dwellings in order to create a capital receipt.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate her Department has made of the number of (a) social sector households and (b) vulnerable households in the private sector living in accommodation below the decent homes standards in each year since 1996. (234502)

The number of social sector, and private sector vulnerable households, living in non-decent homes 1996-2006 is provided in the table. Vulnerable households are households in receipt of at least one of the principal means tested or disability related benefits. These figures were published in the English House Condition Survey 2006: Headline Report in January 2008.

These figures are based on the original definition of decent homes incorporating the fitness standard as the statutory component.

The fitness standard was replaced by the Housing Health and Safety Rating System in 2006 and the latter was incorporated in the updated definition of decent homes for that year. However, figures are only available for 2006 using the updated definition.

Table 1: Number of social sector and private sector vulnerable households living in non-decent homes, 1996-2006

Social sector households

Private sector vulnerable households

Number (Thousand)

Percentage

Number (Thousand)

Percentage

1996

2,318

52.6

1,433

57.1

2001

1,647

38.9

1,151

42.7

2003

1,442

35.4

1,056

37.2

2004

1,252

31.3

1,033

34.5

2005

1,162

29.2

1,071

33.9

2006

1,131

28.7

1,012

32.0

Note:

Decent homes definition incorporating fitness as the statutory component.

Source:

English House Condition Survey, 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many residential properties are classed as uninhabitable in each (a) region and (b) local authority area. (234680)