HC Deb 20 December 1999 vol 341 cc341-2W
Mr. Peter Bradley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement about his plans for housing revenue account subsidy for the year 2000–01. [103633]

Mr. Raynsford

We consulted authorities on our proposals for Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Subsidy for 2000–01 and related issues in November. Having considered the representations made, I have decided broadly to confirm the proposals on which we consulted authorities, subject to one significant change.

I have decided to increase Management Allowances nationally next year by £21 million. This is in addition to the increase of £67 million in Maintenance Allowances announced at the start of consultation.

We are determined to improve the quality of council housing. We are combating years of under-investment in the fabric of the stock. This is the second significant increase in resources for maintenance, following years of standstill. It is the first increase for management in five years. These additional resources will enable councils to tackle urgent repairs and made a real improvement in tenants' quality of life.

We expect councils to continue to increase the efficiency of their housing management, but the additional investment recognises the increasing demands on them to provide quality services and act as a focal point for local work to tackle social exclusion, consistent with the recommendations made by Policy Action Team 5 which looked at housing management.

The increases in maintenance allowances and management allowances are in addition to the extra £3.6 billion for capital investment in local authority housing announced by the Deputy Prime Minister in July 1998, following the Comprehensive Spending Review.

We are also making available additional resources of £15 million next year, with a further £15 million in 2001–02, to help authorities introduce resource accounting into the Housing Revenue Account. In addition, we are allocating an extra £12 million over the next two years to help tenants get involved in managing their homes through tenant participation compacts.

Copies of the Housing Revenue Account Subsidy Determination 2000–01 and related Determinations have been sent to all local housing authorities in England. I am arranging for copies to be placed in the Library of the House.