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55,000 MORE HOMES AVAILABLE NEXT YEAR, SAYS SIR GEORGE

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Housing Associations expect to provide 54,500 homes for letting in 1993-94 from government funding, Housing Ministe...
Housing Associations expect to provide 54,500 homes for letting in 1993-94 from government funding, Housing Minister Sir George Young told the House of Commons today.

This was an increase of 3,300 on their expectations for 1993-94 this time last year, Sir George said.

Increased cost effectiveness also means that housing associations expect to approve the commencement of between 10%-20% more new homes than they estimated in December, when national allocations were announced.

In a written Parliamentary Answer to Ian Taylor MP (Esher), Sir George said: 'I am pleased to announce the allocation to local authority areas of new approvals to be made by the Housing Corporation under its 1993-94 Approved Development Programme.

'The Corporation is writing to individual housing associations with details of their 1993-94 allocations. The Corporation estimates that, next year, the ADP will fund the completion of 54,500 homes, including 10,000 for low cost home ownership. This is an increase of 3,300 on the 51,200 completions anticipated for 1993-94 a year ago.

'In addition, the housing market package announced in the Autumn Statement has added an extra 19,000 units to this year's programme to achieve a total of 120,000 new housing association lettings across these two years, compared with the 94,600 anticipated at the time of the 1992/93 ADP.

The ADP continues to provide good value for money. Competitive bidding between housing associations, consortium deals with developers, and the provision by local authorities of land at nil or reduced cost mean that the corporation expects to approve between 10% and 20% more units in 1993/94 than was estimated when decisions were announced in December about the national breakdown of the ADP. This would mean an additional 4,240-8,480 new homes for people in need.

'Decisions on the ADP and local authority Housing Investment Programmes are now taken within a co-ordinated framework. As I announced at the time of the HIP settlement in December, local authorities, the Housing Corporation and local housing associations have co-operated closely in preparing local programmes as part of a single housing strategy, and we have been able to consider the two programmes in parallel.'

Of the £750 million announced in the Autumn Statement, £577 million is being made available through the Housing Corporation for housing associations to buy properties 'off the peg' in this financial year, for use to meet local housing needs. The funds are being channelled through a limited number of housing associations by the Housing Corporation to ensure that maximum value for money is achieved. The package is expected to deliver a higher leverage of private finance with lower rates of grant than the normal Corporation programme.

The remainder of the £750 million package covers parallel measures in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and also includes £50 million for grants to encourage existing housing association and local authority tenants to buy homes in the private sector, thus releasing their tenancies to provide homes for people in most need.

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