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£80m for 'worst' south-east housing

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Nine local authority partnerships are to share£80m from the South East England Regional Housing Board (RHB) to tackle some of the region’s worst housing conditions.

After assessing council bids, the RHB has recommended to government that the money for 2008-11 should be split nine ways.

This includes£18.5m for a Brighton & Hove and East Sussex partnership and£16m each for two other projects - one in the west of the region and one in East Kent.

Proposals had to show how they would use funds innovatively to improve housing. All proposals outline the use of loans rather than grants to pay for renovations, leading to more effective public sector investment as money can be re-used. For example in North West Kent an equity release scheme will help raise money for home improvements.

Chairman of the RHB, Elizabeth Cartwright (Con) said: “There is much enthusiasm in the south-east for this scheme, with all but two of the region’s councils being involved in submitting a bid. All the bids we received were of a high standard, which will ensure improvements benefit the region as a whole as well as homeowners.

“Making homes warmer will help reduce winter illnesses that can lead to hospital admissions. Also if homes are more efficient to heat they produce less greenhouse gases, which is good news for the environment.”

The amount the lead authorities were awarded are:

  • Windsor & Maidenhead RBC £16m

  • Arun DC £0.92m

  • Thanet DC £16m

  • Portsmouth City Council £8m

  • Southampton City Council £9.2m

  • Reigate & Banstead BC £0.79m

  • Brighton & Hove City Council £18.53m

  • Elmbridge BC £0.82m

  • Tonbridge & Malling BC £9.72m

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