HC Deb 28 October 2002 vol 391 cc515-6W
Martin Linton

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what action he has taken to address the housing shortage for (a) key workers and (b) tenants of registered social landlords in overcrowded accommodation in Battersea. [76229]

Mr. McNulty

The Government are very aware of the need to provide more good quality affordable housing for both workers and social housing tenants in Battersea and other parts of London.

By 2003–04 £482 million of the £1.2 billion funding from the Housing Corporation's Approved Development Programme will go directly to London projects. The Challenge Fund of £200 million is also being targeted on the south-east to increase supply. I expect London to get a significant proportion of this.

£146 million of the £250 million funding dedicated through the starter home initiative has also been allocated to London schemes. We expect about 4,600 nurses, teachers, police and other key workers to benefit as a result.

The Government Office for London and the Housing Corporation are working with local authorities to increase the delivery of affordable housing across London. They will encourage and support innovative schemes maximising the potential for redevelopment of local authority and other public sector assets for affordable housing; achieve improvements in planning performance; and identify and get action on blockages to the speedy delivery of sites for affordable housing.

The Government are aware of concerns that the current overcrowding standards need updating as they date from the Housing Act 1935 and have not been revised since then. We are considering the best way to tackle the problem.