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Housing

Volume 710: debated on Thursday 7 May 2009

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Andrews on 20 April (WA 346-47) saying that “Information on the regional housing pot budget of £4 billion for 2009-10 is not available by local authority”, whether the information provided to local housing authorities in a document signed by Terrie Alafat, a civil servant within the Department for Communities and Local Government, that the regional housing pot grant determination 2009 that “determines the authorities to which grant is to be paid and the maximum amount of grant to be paid” was made by the Minister of State for Housing and Planning in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003 is accurate; and, if so, why the details of those amounts are not available. [HL3169]

There are three elements of the regional housing pot: the national affordable housing programme (NAHP); local authority decent homes funding; and private sector renewal funding.

The total budget for the whole pot in 2009-10 of £4 billion cannot be broken down to local authority level. The NAHP element of the pot is administered through the Homes and Communities Agency and allocated to housing associations and other affordable housing providers through a competitive bidding process. For further details I refer the noble Lord to the Answer I gave to him on 30 April (Official Report, cols. WA 60-66.)

The document signed by authority of the Minister for Housing and Planning determined the grant to local authorities for the private sector renewal element of the regional housing pot, the details of which are available and were advised to the government offices on 26 March 2009.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what powers 4NW possesses that allowed it to allocate regional housing pot funds for 2009-10 to local authorities in the north west, as stated in the letter dated 27 March from Jo Lappin, Deputy Regional Director for Housing, Planning and Transport at the Government Office for the North West; and how that relates to the determination made by the Minister of State for Housing and Planning in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003. [HL3170]

The North West Leaders Forum, 4NW, provides advice to Ministers on the payment of grants to local housing authorities from the regional housing pot in its capacity as the regional housing board. The Minister makes the decision.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what influence and status any work, documents and proposals relating to the proposed regional strategy for the North West have before the relevant clauses of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill [HL] are enacted and commenced in relation to (a) the regional housing pot allocations for 2009-10, and (b) any other policies and actions. [HL3171]

Until new legislation is enacted, any work relating to the proposed regional strategy for the north-west will consist of draft policy and proposals. This work will not influence regional housing pot allocations for 2009-10. It is intended that, in the long term, the regional strategy will provide the overarching framework to guide the activities, plans and investment decisions of key public sector agencies, local authorities and other regional partners. The existing regional spatial strategy and regional economic strategy will remain in force until replaced by the new strategy following due process.