'This is on completely the wrong track. If the government wants to improve all social housing, it must make funding available to all council tenants.
'Ruth Kelly must come up with funding options that benefit all council tenants. Today's announcement explicitly ruled out allowing local authorities to borrow to make improvements to their housing stock.'
Ruth Kelly's written statement is available here.
The government adopted a Public Service Agreement target in 2000 to bring all social housing up to a decent standard by 2010. This target applies to council and housing association (registered social landlord) owned properties alike. As part of the Spending Review 2002, John Prescott announced that private sector homes occupied by vulnerable households would also be brought within the decent homes target.
In response to written question 58938, on 27 March 2006, Yvette Cooper stated that there are 98 local authorities who have opted to retain their stock. These LAs are not eligible for additional government funds, though some may have obtained private investment.
In June 2004, the Local Government Information Unit published The Right to Choose in which it argued that present Government policy restricts the choice available to council tenants and local authorities by offering funding for only three available options for achieving the decent homes standard.
The target was set as part of the 2002 Spending Review.