HC Deb 22 March 2001 vol 365 cc290-1W
Mr. Paul Clark

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he expects to announce the pilot projects to test choice-based lettings approaches; and if he will make a statement.[155394]

Mr. Raynsford

I am pleased to announce that 27 local authority-led pilot projects have today been selected to test different lettings approaches.

The pilots are designed to give new and existing social tenants in England greater choice over their housing and to give local authorities and Registered Social Landlords the opportunity to test new ways of doing that, while continuing to meet housing need.

This is the best way to meet the long-term housing requirements of those who need social housing. The challenge for pilot authorities is to find better ways of responding to need while offering choice, in different housing markets, and across different authorities. We will draw on the pilots to develop a body of good practice for all social landlords.

I am delighted that we received over 90 bids for pilot status. I was particularly encouraged by the readiness of local authorities and RSLs to work together to deliver a choice-based approach. Many bids involved a partnership approach, bringing together some or all of the RSLs operating in the area, and in some cases private landlords as well, to offer as wide a choice as possible to new and existing tenants.

I have been very impressed by the quality of the bids submitted. I have therefore decided to make available a further £2 million, in addition to the £11 million announced at the time of the Spending Review to fund the pilot scheme, in order to support as many good quality projects as possible.

The list of successful lead authorities is set out in the list.

I am also delighted to announce that £3.5 million over two years has been allocated under Round 3 of the Capital Modernisation Fund. This additional money will be used to fund Information Technology development to support choice-based lettings approaches and to promote mobility across the social housing sector.

Successful bids—lead authorities

  • Bath and North East Somerset borough council
  • Blackburn with Darwen borough council
  • Bolton metropolitan borough council
  • Bradford metropolitan borough council
  • Brighton and Hove borough council
  • Camden council
  • Coventry metropolitan borough council
  • Croydon council
  • Derby city council
  • Ealing council
  • Eastbourne borough council
  • Hammersmith and Fulham council
  • Harborough district council
  • Haringey council
  • Herefordshire district council
  • Kennet district council
  • Lewisham council
  • Manchester city council
  • Mansfield district council
  • Medway district council
  • New Forest district council
  • Newham council
  • Restormel borough council
  • Sandwell metropolitan district council
  • Sheffield metropolitan borough council
  • Stockport metropolitan borough council
  • Sunderland metropolitan borough council.