§ Mr. Waterson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to encourage more local authorities to transfer their housing stock to alternative landlords. 1245W
§ Mr. Gummer
[pursuant to his reply 19 December 1995, c. 1327]: I have today issued bidding guidance to enable authorities to bid for resources from a challenge fund to improve the remaining poor-quality council estates. The name of the fund is the estates renewal challenge fund.
The estates renewal challenge fund is worth more than £300 million over the next three years and will help improve the remaining poor quality estates by speeding their transfer to housing associations and other new landlords.
The money will be available to meet a wide range of costs associated with transfer and I want all local authorities to consider this option as part of their housing strategy. Transfers, which would go ahead only if both councils and tenants wanted them, can bring real benefits to tenants living in the worst conditions where there is the greatest need for investment.
I will be placing copies of the guidance in the Libraries of both Houses.