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Housing: Leeds

Volume 502: debated on Wednesday 16 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he plans to take to provide accommodation in Leeds to meet the city's projected population increase. (306926)

Current market conditions are challenging, but there is strong pent-up demand for new homes. Therefore we remain committed to achieving a step-change in housing supply whilst recognising the scale of the challenge this entails, and want to see a swift and sustainable recovery in housing. A sufficient, suitable supply of land for housing, which responds to market signals and rising demand, will be critical to achieving this. We therefore announced a proposal to improve the quality of the five-year supply of economically viable sites that are required under PPS3 in the pre-Budget report, as well as other work to improve the delivery of housing.

We are keen to see all local authorities put in place an adopted Core Strategy. Leeds city council has the highest housing requirement figure in the country. Provision for this will be demonstrated in their emerging Core Strategy. The council has recently ended a round of formal consultation on this document, which has an expected publication date of September 2010 and submission in January 2011. It is hoped that the Core Strategy will be adopted by November 2011.

The scale of its housing requirements means that Leeds city council is a national priority. The Government Office for Yorkshire and the Humber, the Planning Inspectorate, the Planning Advisory Service and the Department are giving as much aid and assistance as possible to ensure a prompt production of the Core Strategy to put in place the delivery mechanisms for housing to meet the requirements.

We have also taken measures to support the construction industry, including the biggest council house building programme for nearly two decades, from which I am pleased that Leeds has benefited. I am also pleased to be working with the Leeds City Region Partnership on its Urban Eco Settlement initiative, which includes the Aire Valley in Leeds where we are already investing Kickstart funding and which has further potential to contribute to the delivery of the housing that Leeds needs.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average house price in Leeds West constituency was (a) five, (b) 10 and (c) 15 years ago. (306937)

House price information is not available by constituency only by local authority. The average house prices for Leeds are as follows:

£

January 1995 (earliest available data)

57,747

January 2000

60,499

January 2005

133,378

October 2009 (latest available data)

129,565

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he is taking to enable Leeds housing associations to access funds provided by his Department for new housing development. (307438)

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) allocates funds through a process of Continuous Market Engagement (CME) whereby bids for funding can be submitted through this ongoing process following discussions with local authorities and HCA Investment and Regeneration Managers. Monthly clinics are held at which bids from housing associations are discussed and prioritised.

At the end of November 2009, £50.9 million had been allocated in Leeds for 1,609 homes under the 2008-11 National Affordable Housing Programme.

In addition, £3.5 million has been allocated to Leeds city council under the local authority Newbuild Round 1 programme for 63 homes.

Funds under the Kickstart round 1 programme worth £7.2 million, for 235 homes (subject to funding conditions) were announced in Leeds area in October 2009.

Kickstart Round 2 will allocate over £30 million across Yorkshire and Humber over 23 schemes including one in Leeds. This investment will support the delivery of approximately 1,488 homes in the region by March 2012.