§ Mr. Simon Hughes
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether it is his policy to increase the number of hostel deficit grants.
§ Mr. Nicholls
My right hon. Friend the Minister for Housing and Planning has been considering proposals put to him by the Housing Corporation for replacing hostel deficit grant by a flat-rate allowance. He wrote to the corporation and the National Federation of Housing Associations on 25 July announcing his decision that the386W allowance should be introduced for new schemes from next April and extended, or equivalent arrangements applied, to existing schemes as soon as practicable. The new grant system should be seen as transitional, since it will need to be kept under review in the light of the evolution of the care in the community policy.