Memorandum submitted by National Housing
Federation and Chartered Institute of Housing
Examination of Witnesses(Questions 234-239)
TUESDAY 22 OCTOBER 2002
234. Can I welcome you to the Committee and
can I ask you to identify yourselves for the record please.
(Mr Coulter) I am Jim Coulter from the National Housing
Federation. On my left is my colleague John Perry, who is director
of policy at the Chartered Institute of Housing. On my right is
Robin Tetlow who is managing director of Tetlow King, who is an
advisor to both of our organisations, many housing associations,
local authorities and developers and has a lot of planning letters
after his name.
235. Thank you very much. Do you want to say
anything by way of introduction or are you happy for us to go
straight into questions?
(Mr Coulter) In view of time we are happy
to proceed with your questions.
236. In your submissions you say that there
is no doubt that there is considerable uncertainty as to whether
the ten-year target can be achieved in housing. Can you give a
bit more knowledge on that?
(Mr Coulter) Are you talking about the Decent Homes
237. I am talking about the ten-year plan for
achieving the Government's target of improving housing stock.
(Mr Coulter) Could we perhaps divide that into two
parts. If I could answer for housing associations and John Perry
could pick up the local authority assessment. We have been doing
some work with the Housing Corporation and the Corporation recently
produced at the beginning of this month a research report which
indicated a range of percentages of housing association stock
which currently meets or is estimated to meet the Decent Homes
standard. On average, the figure is about 22 per of the total
of 1.8 million stock which does not meet the standard. At the
high end of that spectrum is the most recently transferred stock
from the local authority sector which, by definition, must be
at the poorer end, that is why it was transferred, and the so-called
existing traditional stock is something under 20 per cent. Our
view is that over the ten-year period the Decent Homes standard
for housing association housing stock would be met if there is
an additional resource of around £70 million a year through
asset management grants to add to the borrowing capacity.
238. In your submission you say that we would
need 83,000 new, affordable homes every year. If we are going
to achieve the target of the ten-year programme, are you suggesting
we are going to need that?
(Mr Coulter) The resource base for the delivery of
new housing, leaving aside the Decent Homes standard, we are not
yet clear about. We have the one year approved development programme
which the Housing Minister, Lord Rooker, announced at the National
Housing Federation's conference and we await years two and three
to be announced by the Deputy Prime Minister in the statement
some time around the turn of the year. Our best estimate of what
the public resources (to which housing associations will add private
funding) will produce is a little over 19,000 homes from the so-called
mainstream approved development programme. There are about 4,000
from the new Challenge Fund and about 7,000 to 8,000 are produced
by the Local Authority Social Housing Grant route, but that may
change because of proposals which the Government has made about
capital receipts, and then in addition, as the research produced
only a few days ago by the Rowntree Foundation produced by Cambridge
University and Sheffield University shows there are perhaps 9,000
homes not produced with forms of public subsidy by registered
social landlords. So a total of 40,000 or so will be produced
out of the resource base that we see available, so the gap is
very substantial indeed.
239. So progress being made to achieve that
is very little?
(Mr Coulter) The progress is greater than it was,
that is for sure, but we are nowhere near the peak of housing