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Housing Associations: Finance

Volume 490: debated on Monday 30 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number of housing associations in need of financial assistance in the most recent period for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. (266486)

The Tenant Services Authority carries out annual reviews of housing associations' financial position and grades each organisation on a scale of 1 to 4 as follows:

1—Satisfactory

2—Satisfactory, but areas of exposure noted

3—Concerns

4—Serious concerns

All but six associations have so far received a grading of 1 or 2. The other six associations are graded at 3 and no organisation is graded 4. The TSA is working closely with all six organisations to resolve their issues and is hopeful of a successful resolution of the issues in each case.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent discussions she has had with (a) the Chancellor of the Exchequer and (b) banks in which the Government has purchased a holding on (i) the level of lending to housing associations and (ii) the interest rates at which those banks lend to housing associations. (266502)

Ministers from the Department are meeting regularly with their HM Treasury counterparts to discuss these issues, and officials are also in regular communication with HM Treasury, the Council of Mortgage Lenders, and individual lenders to discuss the issue of lending to housing associations.

Communities and Local Government officials are also engaged in ongoing discussions with HM Treasury on the lending agreements signed by banks participating in the Government's Asset Protection Scheme.