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Housing: Market Renewal

Volume 699: debated on Thursday 28 February 2008

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Iain Wright) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The housing market renewal programme has made a major contribution to restoring confidence in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the country. I am therefore pleased to announce that we will be making a further £1.038 billion available to the programme over the period 2008-11.

Having considered business plans prepared by the 12 housing market renewal areas, I am today announcing allocations for individual areas as follows:

Proposed distribution across individual years

£m

Pathfinder

Total allocation

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

Birmingham Sandwell

53

25

17

11

East Lancashire

150

52

50

48

Hull and East Riding

87

30

29

28

Manchester Salford

140

52

46

42

Merseyside

152

54

51

47

Newcastle Gateshead

95

34

32

29

North Staffordshire

114

40

38

36

Oldham Rochdale

90

32

30

28

South Yorkshire

116

46

39

31

Tees Valley

35

13

12

10

West Cumbria

6

3

2

1

Total

1038

381

346

311

Note:

The allocation for South Yorkshire includes an allocation of £12 million over the three years for HMR activity in the south-east Wakefield housing market area of West Yorkshire.

This is substantial new funding and, together with increasing investment from the private sector and support from local authorities and others, it will help the market renewal areas to take forward their ambitious programmes to bring real change to places that only five years ago were facing decline and abandonment.

Since the housing market renewal programme began in 2002, we have invested £1.2 billion, which has helped to refurbish over 40,000 homes, demolish 10,000 properties and construct 1,100 new homes. As the National Audit Office recognised in its report on the programme published last year, all the pathfinders have succeeded in closing the gaps in prices with their regions, and housing markets in local authorities chosen for intervention have, on the whole, performed better than those in other local authorities not chosen for intervention that had the most similar problems of low demand.

The new funding that I am announcing today will help to take forward this work. Three-year funding will provide greater certainty for the housing market renewal partnerships to address long-term market failure. At the same time, we want the partnerships to ensure that they are making appropriate connections to wider housing strategies and making links with growth programmes where relevant.

Figures for year 1 (2008-09) are firm commitments. Those for years 2 and 3 (2009-10 and 2010-11) are indicative and may change by up to plus or minus 10 per cent. These numbers will be confirmed at a later point and will be subject to a number of factors, including progress in working with the new Homes and Communities Agency, progress in making links with growth initiatives, where relevant, and future changes in local markets.