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Affordable Housing

Volume 507: debated on Tuesday 16 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what liabilities the Homes and Communities Agency has in relation to rent subsidy for tenants signed up to the Rent to HomeBuy scheme for the financial year (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12. (321561)

The Homes and Communities Agency provide capital grant to support the development or acquisition of properties. The grant is paid at start on site and on completion of a scheme. No further financial liabilities exist.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many Rent to HomeBuy tenants are expected to purchase a share in their home in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and what estimate has been made of the costs of the scheme in each of those years; (321563)

(2) pursuant to the answer of 2 March 2010, Official Report, columns 1127-28W, on affordable housing: finance, whether the allocations to the Rent to HomeBuy scheme assume that 100 per cent. of tenants will purchase a share in their home.

The Rent to HomeBuy product is designed to assist people into homeownership and it is expected that tenants will purchase a share of their property during or at the end of the agreed intermediate period. It is recognised that some tenants’ personal circumstances may mean that moving into shared ownership is not suitable for them at that time.

The Homes and Communities Agency does not make assumptions about future purchases when making allocation decisions for this product.

The HCA, based on information as at the end of February 2010, is currently forecasting expenditure on approved Rent to HomeBuy schemes in 2010-11 and 2011-12 of £52 million and £27 million respectively.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the Homes and Communities Agency grant for Rent to HomeBuy properties is paid (a) at the start or (b) on an ongoing basis during an intermediate rent tenancy. (321565)

Capital grant is provided through the National Affordable Housing Programme, for the provision of a property. Grant is paid for new build schemes in two tranches, with part of the grant paid at start on site and the remainder on completion of the scheme. Where a property is bought by or transferred to an Investment Partner as an existing unit 100 per cent. of the grant is paid on completion. There is no further grant paid after the development is complete.

The Rent to HomeBuy scheme may be either a new build scheme or acquisition of an existing property.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 2 March 2010, Official Report, columns 1127-28W, on affordable housing: finance, what estimate he has made of the percentage of the funding allocated to Rent to HomeBuy for 2010-11 which will be used for (a) existing tenants' rent subsidies and (b) new completions. (321581)

The Homes and Communities Agency through their National Affordable Housing Programme funds the provision of new affordable housing units under the Rent to HomeBuy scheme. All funding in 2010-11 will be used to provide new affordable housing either through new build or acquisition. No funding through the National Affordable Housing Programme will be used for existing tenants' rent subsidies.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent steps the Government has taken to increase the provision of family-sized affordable homes. (321606)

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is aiming to create cohesive and sustainable communities including the provision of larger family sized homes. As part of the HCA’s Corporate Plan we have also set them a target that 30 per cent. of their social rented homes completions through the National Affordable Housing Programme in 2009-10 should be for homes with three or more bedrooms. This target is set to increase to 33 per cent. in 2010-11.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many affordable family-sized homes have been built in each year since 1997. (321607)

The number of affordable homes built in each year since 1997 are available on the CLG website in Live Table 1009. Statistics are not held centrally that identify which of these are ‘family-sized’ or occupied by families.

Information in respect of the distribution of affordable homes provided through the Homes and Communities Agency’s Affordable Housing Programme by the number of bedrooms has been deposited in the Library of the House in response to the question I answered from the hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Grant Shapps) on 15 March 2010, Official Report, column 667W.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department plans to take to assist local authorities to increase provision of family-sized affordable homes. (321608)

The Local Authority New Build programme is providing over £500 million for the direct development of new affordable homes to rent by local authorities. Funding has now been approved to 87 local authorities to build over 4,000 homes. If all proceed to completion over 40 per cent. will be homes with three bedrooms or more.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his most recent assessment is of the effectiveness of the pathfinder areas in increasing provision of family-sized affordable homes. (321609)

The overcrowding pathfinder programme has enabled local authorities to develop effective schemes that support under-occupiers who wish to downsize and to therefore free up family-sized affordable homes.

The majority of pathfinders have reported an increase in the number of family-sized homes being made available to let.