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National Clearing House Scheme

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 10 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how much and what proportion of expenditure on the National Clearing House scheme will come from the Homes and Communities Agency’s; (251791)

(2) how many unsold domestic dwellings in each local authority area have been bought under the National Clearing House scheme; and what the (a) timetable and (b) target for the total number of dwellings to be purchased under the scheme is.

In May, the Government announced a plan to take advantage of market opportunities to bring private sector developer stock into the affordable housing sector by providing £200 million of funding in 2008-09 from the overall budget of the Homes and Communities Agency’s Affordable Housing Programme (AHP) for the purchase of homes from house builders. This represents around 8 per cent. of the overall Affordable Housing Programme for 2008-09. We have not set a specific target for the number of properties to be purchased as we want to ensure that they are appropriate and of the right quality.

To help facilitate this, the Housing Corporation set up the National Clearing House to streamline initial assessment of national packages of at least 250 units from private sector house builders. Housing Corporation Investment partners, mainly registered social landlords, wishing to buy smaller numbers of units from developers could bid for funding directly to the Corporation in the normal way.

To the end of December over £160 million had been allocated from the initial £200 million. A table has been deposited in the Library showing the distribution of these allocations by local authority and social rent and low cost home ownership.