HC Deb 10 May 2004 vol 421 cc103-4W
Mr. Meacher

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the effect of the Starter Homes Initiative on the residents of Oldham, West and Royton. [170878]

Keith Hill

I refer my right hon. Friend to the answer given on 29 April 2004,Official Report, column 1228W.

Mr. Pickthall

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on his assessment of how the change in the level of council funding for housing has affected the residents of West Lancashire since 1997. [171546]

Keith Hill

Since 1997 allocations of capital funding to local authorities for housing purposes have risen consistently by about 15 per cent. per annum on average. This includes the Major Repairs Allowance we introduced in 2001–02 specifically for the improvement of local authority stock alongside the Decent Homes standard which sets out minimum standards to be met by 2010. West Lancashire's allocations in the period 1997 to 2003–04 have risen by over 300 per cent. In addition to this welcome increase there has been support through the Community Housing Task Force and Government Office for the North West that has helped the local authority and its tenants to choose the best strategy for long term improvement.

16 local authorities in the North West have transferred all their stock, and five local authorities have transferred part of their stock. This has unlocked £1,739 million in private finance, of which £553 million has gone to local authorities in capital receipts, with the remaining £1,186 million going directly into renovating and maintaining the transferred properties. Four local authorities have schemes on the programme that have not yet transferred, three of which have had positive ballot results. Ellesmere Port and Neston, Halton, Hyndburn, Macclesfield and West Lancashire have been granted places on the 2004 programme.

Ms Oona King

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he plans to announce the decision on the 2004 housing stock transfer programme. [171266]

Keith Hill

I refer my hon. Friend to the written statement made by my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister on 5 May 2004,Official Report, column 8OWS.