§ Mr. Love
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what assistance local authorities are able to offer to leaseholders who are unable to meet their share of the cost of improvement works; what additional assistance the Government propose to offer; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Raynsford
There are a number of options available to local authorities to assist their leaseholders. The previous Government issued directions to local authorities and other social landlords, allowing them to reduce charges for works of improvement, repair and maintenance in some cases, and requiring them to do so in certain cases where central Government funding was being sought. Other options available to authorities include deferring charges, abating charges in extreme hardship cases, or offering discretionary loans. Local authorities also have powers to repurchase properties. It642W is for each authority to decide what help it can give, having regard to its existing housing priorities and its available resources.
We are considering, in the context of our Comprehensive Spending Review, whether further measures are needed to help leaseholders. We intend to publish a consultation paper later this Spring on a range of issues of concern to leaseholders.