§ Mr. Jim Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many new council houses have been(a) built since 1997 and (b) brought out of disrepair and are now available. 
§ Ms Keeble
[holding answer 26 February 2002]: The figures for the number of council dwellings built since April 1997 are given in the table.
Local authority new building: England Number of dwellings 1997–98 323 1998–99 194 1999–2000 102 2000–01 717
Figures are not held centrally on the number of council dwellings in disrepair in 1997 which have now been brought out of disrepair. However, we are committed to improving the condition of social housing. In July 2000, the Government set targets to ensure that all social housing meets set standards of decency by 2010 and reducing the number of households living in social housing below these standards by a third between 2001 and 2004. Most of this reduction will take place in deprived areas. We currently estimate that we are on track to meet the 2004 target which should mean 550,000 more units of social housing of a decent standard by 2004.