§ Mr. Hancock
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what estimates he has made of the number of new affordable homes required to meet demand; what plans he has to increase the provision of affordable houses; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Raynsford
While the Government have from time to time commissioned studies of the extent and nature of housing need to inform our views on the requirement for affordable housing in England, we believe that neither national nor regional estimates can adequately reflect the wide diversity of needs and priorities which exist at the local level. For these reasons the Government believe that local authorities are best placed to carry our robust assessments of housing need in their areas.
This Government are already making available an additional £5 billion for investment in housing over the life of this Parliament. Much of this is spent on tackling the repairs backlog, but local authorities are able to use these resources to invest in additional affordable housing, where this best meets local needs and priorities. In addition, local authorities have powers to require affordable homes to be provided as part of new developments.
Future levels of provision to fund affordable housing will be announced on completion of the Spending Review.