Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities supports communities across the UK to thrive, making them great places to live and work.



Secretary of State

 Portrait

Michael Gove
Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

 Portrait

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

 Portrait

Neil O'Brien
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
Liberal Democrat
Tim Farron (LDEM - Westmorland and Lonsdale)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Plaid Cymru
Ben Lake (PC - Ceredigion)
Shadow PC Spokesperson (Housing, Communities & Local Government)

Scottish National Party
Patricia Gibson (SNP - North Ayrshire and Arran)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Labour
Lucy Powell (LAB - Manchester Central)
Shadow Secretary of State for Housing
Steve Reed (LAB - Croydon North)
Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
Baroness Blake of Leeds (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government)
Baroness Blake of Leeds (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Housing)
Lord Kennedy of Southwark (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government)
Lord Kennedy of Southwark (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Housing)

Liberal Democrat
Baroness Pinnock (LDEM - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Levelling Up, Communities and Local Government)
Baroness Thornhill (LDEM - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Housing)
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Labour
Mike Amesbury (LAB - Weaver Vale)
Shadow Minister (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Ruth Cadbury (LAB - Brentford and Isleworth)
Shadow Minister (Housing, Communities and Local Government) (Planning)
Naz Shah (LAB - Bradford West)
Shadow Minister (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Jeff Smith (LAB - Manchester, Withington)
Shadow Minister (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Ministers of State
Michael Gove (CON - Surrey Heath)
Minister for Intergovernmental Relations
Christopher Pincher (CON - Tamworth)
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
Lord Greenhalgh (CON - Life peer)
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
Scheduled Event
Wednesday 10th November 2021
13:00
Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities
Legislation - Grand Committee
10 Nov 2021, 1 p.m.
Rating (Coronavirus) and Directors Disqualification (Dissolved Companies) Bill – committee stage
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Scheduled Event
Monday 29th November 2021
14:30
Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities
Oral questions - Main Chamber
29 Nov 2021, 2:30 p.m.
Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (including Topical Questions)
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Debates
Monday 25th October 2021
Select Committee Docs
Thursday 21st October 2021
00:00
Response to this report
Inquiry Publications
Select Committee Inquiry
Tuesday 23rd March 2021
Permitted Development Rights

The aim of this short inquiry is to examine the Government’s recent and proposed changes to permitted development rights in …

Written Answers
Monday 27th September 2021
Sheltered Housing
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they intend to take to increase the provision of (1) extra-care housing, and …
Secondary Legislation
Thursday 21st October 2021
Local Audit (Appointing Person) (Amendment) Regulations 2021
The Local Audit (Appointing Person) Regulations 2015 (S.I. 2015/192) (“the 2015 Regulations”) make provision for the appointment of a local …
Bills
Monday 5th July 2021
Building Safety Bill 2021-22
A Bill to make provision about the safety of people in or about buildings and the standard of buildings, to …
Dept. Publications
Tuesday 26th October 2021
12:08
Treaty
None available

Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Oct. 25
Oral Questions
May. 17
Urgent Questions
Oct. 19
Westminster Hall
Sep. 16
Adjournment Debate
View All Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities Commons Contibutions

Bills currently before Parliament

Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities does not have Bills currently before Parliament


Acts of Parliament created in the 2019 Parliament


A Bill to confer relief from non-domestic rates for hereditaments in England and Wales

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 29th April 2021 and was enacted into law.


A Bill to make provision to change the dates on which non-domestic rating lists must be compiled; and to change the dates by which proposed lists must be sent to billing authorities, the Secretary of State or the Welsh Ministers.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Monday 15th March 2021 and was enacted into law.

Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities - Secondary Legislation

The Local Audit (Appointing Person) Regulations 2015 (S.I. 2015/192) (“the 2015 Regulations”) make provision for the appointment of a local auditor by a person specified by the Secretary of State (“an appointing person”) to audit the accounts of those authorities that choose to opt into such arrangements. The 2015 Regulations also make provision for the appointing person to set fee scales for the audits of opted in authorities and to charge a larger or smaller fee than provided for by the fee scales in prescribed circumstances.
One of the requirements relating to the terms on which a person is appointed to, or holds, an appointment in pursuance of section 9 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (assistants for political groups) is that the annual rate of remuneration for the post is less than £13,500 or such other amount as the Secretary of State may specify by order.
View All Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities Secondary Legislation

Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

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Petition Debates Contributed

During the coronavirus outbreak it is important that people have money for essentials such as utilities and food. The Government should require councils to suspend council tax payments, and directly fund local government operations, for the duration of the outbreak.

View All Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities Petitions

Departmental Select Committee

Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee

Commons Select Committees are a formally established cross-party group of backbench MPs tasked with holding a Government department to account.

At any time there will be number of ongoing investigations into the work of the Department, or issues which fall within the oversight of the Department. Witnesses can be summoned from within the Government and outside to assist in these inquiries.

Select Committee findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.


11 Members of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee
Clive Betts Portrait
Clive Betts (Labour - Sheffield South East)
Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee Chair since 27th January 2020
Mohammad Yasin Portrait
Mohammad Yasin (Labour - Bedford)
Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Mary Robinson Portrait
Mary Robinson (Conservative - Cheadle)
Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Rachel Hopkins Portrait
Rachel Hopkins (Labour - Luton South)
Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Ben Everitt Portrait
Ben Everitt (Conservative - Milton Keynes North)
Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Brendan Clarke-Smith Portrait
Brendan Clarke-Smith (Conservative - Bassetlaw)
Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Ian Byrne Portrait
Ian Byrne (Labour - Liverpool, West Derby)
Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Bob Blackman Portrait
Bob Blackman (Conservative - Harrow East)
Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Andrew Lewer Portrait
Andrew Lewer (Conservative - Northampton South)
Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee Member since 22nd February 2021
Florence Eshalomi Portrait
Florence Eshalomi (Labour (Co-op) - Vauxhall)
Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee Member since 22nd February 2021
Matt Vickers Portrait
Matt Vickers (Conservative - Stockton South)
Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee Member since 19th October 2021

50 most recent Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department

14th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to expand the National Planning Policy Framework’s presumption in favour of sustainable development to include an aim of striving for racial equality in all planning processes.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) already expects that local plans and decisions should apply a presumption in favour of sustainable development, of which social sustainability is a key component. The planning system has three overarching objectives for achieving sustainable development, which are interdependent and need to be pursued in mutually supportive ways. As well as an economic and environmental objective, this includes a social objective - to support strong, vibrant and healthy communities, fostering well designed, beautiful and safe places that reflect current and future needs of all in the community.

These objectives should be delivered through the preparation and implementation of plans and the application of the policies in the NPPF, including an expectation that planning policies and decision should ensure that developments create places that are safe, inclusive and accessible. Further, local authorities must comply with their duties under the Equality Act in exercise of their planning functions.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
13th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in setting up the task force on housing with care; and what is its remit.

Both the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Department of Health and Social Care are committed to further improving the diversity of housing options available to older people. We are engaging closely with both the sector and a range of other stakeholders on this issue. This includes considering the merits of different engagement and delivery models including proposals from the sector for a cross-Government taskforce.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
13th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to include racism in football as a priority in the Hate Crime Unit; and what resources they will provide to that Unit.

The Government takes all forms of hate crime very seriously. We are clear that victims of racially motivated abuse should be supported and that the individuals who carry out these hateful attacks should be brought to justice.

The Government is working with prominent footballers to understand more about the abuse they suffer on social media. We will continue to work with the Police, football representatives and those affected directly, to tackle this vile abuse, both on and off the football pitch.

We will outline our next steps in the forthcoming Hate Crime Strategy.



Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
13th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will respond to the consultation on accessibility for new homes in England completed in December 2020.

We are currently considering responses to the consultation and will set out plans to improve the framework to deliver accessible new homes in due course.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
13th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they intend to take to increase the provision of (1) extra-care housing, and (2) retirement villages for older people.

Both my Department and the Department of Health and Social Care are committed to further improving the diversity of housing options available to older people. We are engaging closely with both the sector and a range of other stakeholders on this issue. This includes considering the merits of different engagement and delivery models including proposals from the sector for a cross-Government taskforce.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate his Department has made of the cost to local authorities of the increase in Employers National Insurance payments as result of the changes in the NHS and Social Care Plan in each of the following financial years (a) 2022-23, (b) 2023-24 and (c) 2024-25.

This Government intends to compensate public sector employers for the increased cost of the Levy.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate his Department has made of the increase in employers National Insurance payments on local authority contracts as a result of the changes in the NHS and Social Care plan in financial years (a) 2022-23, (b) 2023-24 and (c) 2024-25.

This Government intends to compensate public sector employers for the increased cost of the Levy.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with refence to the Plan for Health and Social Care, published September 2021, what is the net change in funding to local authorities resulting from the proposals in that Plan; what estimate he has made of the specific increases and decreases in funding to local authorities relating to that Plan resulting in (a) 2022-23, (b) 2023-24 and (c) 2024-25.

This Government intends to compensate public sector employers for the increased cost of the Levy.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has had discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the potential merits of replacing Council Tax with a proportional property tax.

The Government does not have any plans to replace council tax with a proportional property tax, but keeps all taxes under review.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will provide local councils with the ability to raise a Community Infrastructure Levy within one year of the grant of consent to ensure delivery of homes and infrastructure delivery.

We have consulted on introducing a new infrastructure levy to replace section 106 planning obligations and the Community Infrastructure Levy. We are currently analysing the 44,000 responses to the 'Planning for the Future' consultation and will be publishing our response.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will review the five-year plan to assume that homes will be built within five years to remove incentives for developers to delay development and speculate on land.

The National Planning Policy Framework is clear that local planning authorities should identify and update annually a supply of specific deliverable sites sufficient to provide a minimum of five years' worth of housing against their housing requirement set out in adopted strategic policies.

The Government wants to see homes built faster and expects house builders to build out as soon as possible once planning permission is granted.

Where build-out is delayed, it is for councils and developers to work closely together to overcome any barriers. To support them, this Government is looking at strengthening the tools available to local authorities to encourage faster build out rates. We are considering the responses to the Planning for the Future consultation and will publish our response.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate his Department has made of the number of unsafe blocks of flats in (a) London and (b) Ealing; and what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the Fire Commissioner's report detailing unsafe buildings in London.

Information on the number of high-rise (over 18 metres) residential and publicly-owned buildings with ACM cladding systems unlikely to meet Building Regulations by local authority is published in the Building Safety Programme data release.

For high-rise residential buildings with unsafe non-ACM cladding, the Department is continuing to work with building owners to progress applications for the Building Safety Fund at pace so that more remedial works can begin as swiftly as possible. Information on registrations to the Building Safety Fund by local authority can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remediation-of-non-acm-buildings#building-safety-fund-registration-statistics.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department has taken to provide assurance that infrastructure funding supports housing development in places where rigid strategies exist such as the Road Investment Strategy.

It is important that local authorities plan well for the infrastructure required to support housing development, taking into account Government funding streams such as the Road Investment Strategy and securing appropriate contributions from developers. Developer contributions can be secured through section 106 planning obligations or the Community Infrastructure Levy. The 'Planning for the Future' White Paper' proposes a new 'Infrastructure Levy' to replace the existing system. The consultation on 'Planning for the Future' closed on 29 October 2020 and we will be responding formally.

The Government published its second Road Investment Strategy in October 2019, which allocated grant funding of £27.4 billion from 2020-2025. Other funding streams include NHS England, the Environment Agency, and various schools funding programmes. We recognise there is still a need for further infrastructure funding, which is why the Government committed £4.3 billion from the Housing Infrastructure Fund for 133 projects across England unlocking over 300,000 homes.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to respond to the letter dated 23 June 2021 from the hon. Member for West Lancashire regarding a derelict property, reference ZA56817.

We have received the letter and a response will be sent shortly.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to publish a decision on bids to the Levelling Up Fund; and if he will make a statement.

The first round of the Levelling Up Fund received significant interest from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland bidding authorities across the three investment priorities of the Fund. Bids are currently being assessed in line with the published assessment process. Outcomes from the first round of bids for the Levelling Up Fund will be announced later in the year and bidding authorities will be informed in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to support high street businesses in Newport West constituency.

The new Levelling Up Fund will directly support communities across the UK making available up to £4.8 billion through to 2024-25 for local infrastructure and capital programmes. For the first round of funding, at least 5% of total UK allocations will be in Wales with a focus on supporting town centre and high street regeneration.

The UK Community Renewal Fund is also prioritising applications that target the 100 places most in need across the UK. Through the Community Renewal Fund we are also looking to invest in places that demonstrate a good contribution to strategic fit and delivery/effectiveness. Newport Council has invited bids to come forward into the Fund from local partners.

We have received applications from Newport Council for both the Levelling Up Fund and Community Renewal Fund.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, by what date he plans to announce which bids to the first round of the Levelling Up Fund have been successful.

I am delighted to say that the first round of the Levelling Up Fund received significant interest. Bids are currently being assessed in line with the published assessment process. Outcomes from the first round of bids for the Levelling Up Fund will be announced later in the year and bidding authorities will be informed in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to extend the deadline for when significant spend on successful bids to the Levelling Up Fund has to be achieved.

In the first round of the Levelling Up Fund, we will prioritise projects which are able to demonstrate investment or begin delivery on the ground in the 2021-22 financial year. We would expect all funding provided from the Fund to be spent by 31 March 2024, and, exceptionally, into 2024-25 for larger schemes. The approach set out in the Prospectus will be kept under review for future rounds and announcements about the future of the Fund will be made later this year.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when the successful bids for the first round of the Levelling Up Fund will be announced.

I am delighted to say that the first round of the Levelling Up Fund received significant interest from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland bidding authorities across the three investment priorities of the Fund. Bids are currently being assessed in line with the published assessment process. Outcomes from the first round of bids for the Levelling Up Fund will be announced later in the year and bidding authorities will be informed in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what data his Department holds on the amount of money spent by local authorities in England to tackle flyposting in each of the last ten years.

The Department does not hold figures on the amount of money spent by councils in England to tackle flyposting in each of the last ten years. In this year's settlement, the Government made available an increase in Core Spending Power in England from £49 billion in 2020-21 to up to £51.3 billion in 2021-22, a 4.6% increase in cash terms. This funding is largely unringfenced in recognition that local authorities are best placed to decide how to meet the needs of their local area.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what information his Department holds on the level of debt counselling and advice provided by local authorities in England in the most recent period for which that information is available.

The Department does not hold information on the level of debt counselling and advice provided by councils in England. In this year's settlement, the Government made available an increase in Core Spending Power in England from £49 billion in 2020-21 to up to £51.3 billion in 2021-22, a 4.6% increase in cash terms. This funding is largely unringfenced in recognition that local authorities are best placed to decide how to meet the needs of their local area, including the provision of debt counselling and advice.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what data his Department holds on the amount spent by local authorities in England on removing dead animals from roads and paths in each of the last ten years.

The Department does not hold this information.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what data his Department holds on the (a) number and (b) value of grants given by local authorities in England to voluntary sector organisations in each of the last ten years.

The Department does not hold data on the quantity and value of grants provided by councils in England to voluntary sector organisations.

How grants are issued is determined at a local level, as local authorities are best placed to decide how to meet the pressures in their local area.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to help increase consumer transparency in older people’s housing in relation to associated fees and charges.

The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill currently in Parliament will put an end to ground rents for new residential leasehold properties as part of the most significant changes to property law in a generation. The Bill's provisions will lead to fairer, more transparent homeownership for thousands of future leaseholders.

This includes retirement properties, where purchasers of new leases will not be faced with financial demands for ground rent.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on support provided to local authorities to fund homelessness and rough sleeping services.

The Government is committed to ending rough sleeping this Parliament and is spending more than £750 million to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping this year, with the majority of funding going to local authorities.

Funding for future years will be a matter for the Spending Review that is currently underway.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Answer of 26 April 2021 to Question 185295 on British National (Overseas): Northern Ireland, if he will hold discussions with the Home Secretary on the need for recognition of Northern Ireland identification documentation for those people with BNO status who wish to relocate to Northern Ireland.

The Government’s priority is to ensure that the Hong Kong Welcome Programme is UK wide and supports British National (Overseas) status holders wherever they choose to settle in the UK. My Department continues to work closely with the Northern Ireland Strategic Migration Partnership and the Northern Ireland Executive, including through regular officials’ meetings, to support implementation of the programme.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when (a) he or (b) a Minister in his Department plans to respond to the email invitation to attend a meeting of the all-party Parliamentary group on park homes.

The invitation is under consideration and a response will be issued shortly.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of implementing the Law Commission’s recommendations on the regulation of event fees in retirement properties.

In 2017, the Law Commission published a report of their review of event fees on behalf of this Department. This followed concerns raised by the Competition and Markets Authority about the fairness of some retirement property leases that have resulted in leaseholders paying an event fee of between 0.25% and 30% of the sale price of the property when selling or sub-letting. Concerns were also raised about the lack of transparency of event fees for older people and their families when purchasing a leasehold retirement property. The Law Commission made a number of recommendations in its report, which can be downloaded at http://www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/event-fees-in-retirement-properties.

The Government responded to the Law Commission, thanking them for the report and agreeing to implement the majority of the recommendations.

This includes a new statutory code of practice which will ensure that these fees cannot be charged unexpectedly, while fees that breach it will be regarded as unenforceable and developers and estate agents will be required to make all such fees crystal clear to people before they buy, so prospective buyers can make an informed decision before forming a financial or emotional attachment to a property.

The Government is considering two further recommendations, on succession rights and a database of leasehold retirement properties with event fees, and will respond.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to bring forward proposals to amend the Party Wall Act 1996.

To ensure safe and high-quality buildings, it is important that anyone involved in a project throughout a building's lifecycle is competent to do their job properly and in compliance with the Building Regulations. The Government is working with industry to develop the professional standards of competence of those working across the built environment and enforcing a stringent new regulatory regime for high-rise residential and other in scope buildings for the Building Safety Regulator.

The Party Wall Act provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls, boundary walls and excavations near buildings. The Act is separate from obtaining planning permission or building regulations approval. At present, there are no plans to amend the Act.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 20 July 2021 to Question 33931, what recent estimate he has made of the number of houses in multiple occupation in each (a) region and (b) London borough; and if he will make a statement.

A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a property where three or more people from two or more households share facilities, such as a kitchen and/or bathroom. Under mandatory HMO licensing, all local authorities must license HMOs in which five or more people from two or more households share facilities.

The Department gathers data from local authorities on the estimated number of HMOs annually. The latest returns can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/local-authority-housing-statistics-data-returns-for-2019-to-2020.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 12 July 2021 to Question 29058, on Permitted Development Rights, whether work has commenced on the regulatory impact assessment referred to in that answer.

As we stated in our previous responses, we aim to publish a full Regulatory Impact Assessment on the measures as soon as possible.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to support those with mental health problems to navigate the social housing system.

Local authorities are responsible for drawing up and operating their allocation scheme for social housing within the framework of legislation which ensures that they must give 'reasonable preference' to specific groups including people who need to move on medical or welfare grounds, including grounds relating to a disability. This will include people with mental health problems.

Statutory guidance in 2012 advises local authorities to consider giving additional preference to those who those who need to move urgently because of a sudden disability.

The Social Housing White Paper sets out clear expectations that all social housing tenants, especially those with mental health problems, receive a professional service from competent and empathetic landlord staff. The White Paper commits to a review of professionalisation in the social housing sector including how well housing staff are equipped to support those with mental health needs and will encourage landlords to adopt best practice in this area.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing grants and support to Ellesmere Port and Neston constituents affected by flooding in January 2021.

Following severe weather events which have significant and wide area impacts, support may be made available to impacted local authorities through the activation of the Flood Recovery Framework


Before activating the Framework, Government considers many factors - such as the severity, duration, and the extent of reported impacts and how these compare to past events. The overall reported impacts affecting areas including Ellesmere Port and Neston following Storm Christoph in January 2021 were far lower than the trigger for previous activations in November 2019 and February 2020, and therefore the Framework was not activated.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what data his Department holds on the number of beach patrols undertaken by local authorities in England.

The Department does not hold the information requested.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what information his Department holds on the provision of assisted garden maintenance services by local authorities in England.

Assisted garden maintenance services, such as hedge or grass trimming, can be provided to support people who are unable to look after their garden themselves (such as the elderly or people with disabilities). They can be offered free of charge or for a small fee.

MHCLG does not collect information on which councils provide these services, as it is a matter for local authorities.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to help local authorities hold meetings in a covid-19 safe manner.

The Government recognises that councils have delivered above and beyond throughout the pandemic. To support the reopening of local authority buildings and the return to face-to-face meetings, we advise use of the 'Working Safely During Coronavirus' guidance available on gov.uk which provides advice on precautions to manage risk.

Meetings where councils deem in-person attendance is not required can continue virtually. This would include non-statutory or other informal meetings.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 22 June 2021 to Question 15286 on Buildings: Insulation, whether there is a list of HPL cladding products approved by his Department; and where that list is located.

High Pressure Laminate (HPL) panels can have a wide range of fire performance and so the Department has not published a list of approved HPL products.

However, following the test carried out by the Department in 2019, an advice note was published to provide advice to building owners on the fire performance of HPL cladding system. This advice note was then included in the Consolidated Advice Note which is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/869532/Building_safety_advice_for_building_owners_including_fire_doors_January_2020.pdf

The Secretary of State has confirmed that we will shortly retire the consolidated advice note in favour of the development of new more risk-proportionate guidelines for fire risk assessors including PAS 9980 which will include information on HPL.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent steps his Department has taken to tackle (a) insecure tenancies and (b) overcrowding in social housing; and what recent assessment he has made of the effects of the covid-19 outbreak on equity of access to affordable housing in England.

The Government will improve security of tenure for renters with Assured Shorthold Tenancies by removing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, putting an end to evictions where the landlord does not have to provide a reason. At the same time, we will ensure landlords have the tools they need to gain possession of their property when they have a valid reason to do so. We have rightly been focused on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic but will publish a White Paper detailing these reforms.

This Government is committed to reducing overcrowding, by increasing the supply of affordable housing and enabling councils and other social landlords to make better use of their existing stock. As such we are investing over £12 billion in affordable housing over 5 years, the largest investment in affordable housing in a decade. This includes the new £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme, which will provide up to 180,000 new homes across the country, should economic conditions allow.

The Localism Act 2011 has also maintained the statutory 'reasonable preference' requirements which ensure that social housing is prioritised for those who need it most, including people who are in overcrowded housing. Building on this, statutory guidance recommends local authorities consider giving 'additional preference' (high priority') to families in severe overcrowding which poses a serious health hazard.

The development of policy changes and local differences across England in terms of housing pressures has meant that the national picture of allocations is a complex one. We need to better understand how the system is playing out in local areas in order to understand if it is striking the right balance between fairness, support and aspiration.

MHCLG continues to monitor the effect of lockdown on households including with regards to savings, arrears, wellbeing, and housing costs.​ In addition throughout the entire pandemic the Household Resilience Survey has also been monitoring changes in employment and income as a result of COVID-19, as well households who are in rent or mortgage arrears.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many funding applications for the original Building Safety Fund have been progressed.

Data on the Building Safety Fund, including the number of applications being progressed and how much funding has been allocated, is published and updated monthly at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remediation-of-non-acm-buildings#building-safety-fund-registration-statistics. All applications to the Building Safety Fund are supported by Delivery Partners.

To ensure this critical safety work can commence at pace we also provide expert construction consultation support to those planning and undertaking remediation work under the Building Safety Fund.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many applications to the original Building Safety Fund has been allocated a Case Officer.

Data on the Building Safety Fund, including the number of applications being progressed and how much funding has been allocated, is published and updated monthly at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remediation-of-non-acm-buildings#building-safety-fund-registration-statistics. All applications to the Building Safety Fund are supported by Delivery Partners.

To ensure this critical safety work can commence at pace we also provide expert construction consultation support to those planning and undertaking remediation work under the Building Safety Fund.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many housing officers are available to process Building Safety Fund applications in (a) Plymouth, (b) the South West and (c) in the UK.

The Building Safety Fund only operates in England as housing is a devolved matter. Applications for buildings outside of London are processed by Homes England.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what criteria will be used to prioritise applications to the Building Safety Fund.

The criteria used for the Building Safety Fund is set out in the Building Safety Fund Prospectus, available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remediation-of-non-acm-buildings#prospectus---outlining-eligibility-for-the-fund.

All buildings that meet the Building Safety Fund criteria are treated as a priority for remediation funding. Leaseholders in buildings eligible for the Building Safety Fund can be reassured that unsafe non-ACM cladding on their blocks will be funded and replaced.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when the latest Building Safety Fund will open for applications.

The announcement on 10 February of an additional £3.5 billion of funding for remediating unsafe cladding on buildings 18 metres and above means that leaseholders and residents in eligible buildings can be reassured that unsafe non-ACM cladding on their blocks will be replaced. For any buildings that may have missed the original registration deadline for the Building Safety Fund we will be reopening for registrations in the Autumn.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what support is being offered to (a) leaseholders and (b) freeholders of buildings awaiting access to the Building Safety Fund.

Leaseholders in buildings eligible for the Building Safety Fund can be reassured that unsafe non-ACM cladding on their blocks will be funded and replaced. The £30 million Waking Watch Relief Fund will pay for the costs of installing an alarm system in buildings where a waking watch is in place while waiting to have unsafe cladding removed


The Government has also allocated additional funding to Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) to provide independent, free, initial advice to leaseholders on building safety issues to ensure they are aware of their rights and are supported to understand the terms of their leases. Building owners are supported in their applications to the Building Safety Fund by Delivery Partners and we also provide those planning and undertaking eligible remediation work expert construction consultation.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Future Homes Task Force Delivery Plan to deliver net zero homes.

On the 27th July, the industry-led Future Homes Task Force published a Delivery Plan that sets out the action needed from industry to deliver new homes in line with government’s climate, environmental and sustainability targets by 2050. Relevant government departments (MHCLG, BEIS and Defra) were consulted on the development of the Delivery Plan, which aligns with upcoming regulation such as the Future Homes Standard and with wider environmental policies and priorities such as those on bio-diversity net gain and water efficiency.

The Task Force also announced the creation of the industry-led Future Homes Hub to oversee implementation of the Delivery Plan. The Future Homes Hub will help industry by coordinating pilot developments and prototypes, identifying operational solutions, carrying out research and analysis into delivery challenges and producing technical guidance. The knowledge and outputs from the Hub’s work will be freely shared with industry to help minimise costs and support effective delivery, which will be particularly helpful for SMEs.

It is right that industry leads this work and steps up where necessary to ensure it can meet the challenges associated with the country’s net zero ambitions. Government is pleased to support the work of the Future Homes Hub and senior officials from MHCLG, BEIS, Defra and Homes England sit on the Hub’s board in non-executive roles, helping advise on its programme of work and offering strategic guidance.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
7th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government who will make the decision on a lasting memorial to those who (1) suffered, and (2) lost their lives, at Grenfell Tower; and when the decision will be announced.

In March 2018, a set of Principles that underpin the decision-making process in relation to the future of the Grenfell Tower site were agreed and published, (attached) which led to the establishment of the independent Grenfell Tower Memorial Commission. The terms of reference for the Memorial Commission are to establish a proposal for:

  • What happens to the Grenfell Tower site in the future, assumed to be a fitting memorial to remember those who lost their lives; and
  • How the memorial site will be owned and sustainably managed for the long term.

The Memorial Commission is made up of representatives of the bereaved, survivors and local residents, and will work with the local community to agree a consensus on the most fitting and appropriate way to remember those who lost their lives in the Grenfell tragedy. The Memorial Commission is continuing to work with the local community to establish its proposal.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
7th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what budget they are providing to the lasting memorial of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire; and how that budget will be apportioned between (1) capital costs, and (2) the costs of maintaining the memorial.

The Government is supporting the independent Grenfell Tower Memorial Commission and has committed to funding its work. Once the Memorial Commission has established its vision for a memorial on the Grenfell Tower site, my Department will work to establish and agree an appropriate budget.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 7 December 2020 (HL10627), when they expect to publish the three-month review of the spending of the £30 million allocated on 8 October 2020 to help local authorities in England fund their COVID-19 compliance and enforcement work.

In November 2020, a £30 million ringfenced Compliance and Enforcement Grant was allocated to all district and unitary authorities in England to spend on COVID-19 compliance and enforcement related activities. In January 2021 MHCLG issued an activity and spend survey to all councils in receipt of the grant. The responses from this informed a review of how the grant was being utilised.

The Department have no plans to release the findings of the three-month review. Information was provided in confidence by local authorities during the grant period to support the development of Government policy. The information gathered as part of the review was used to inform successive iterations of the Local authority COVID-19 compliance and enforcement good practice framework’, (attached) which was archived on 19 July 2021 but it still available for reference.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many and what proportion of 2020 first round applications for the Community Ownership Funds were for projects based in London.

The first round of the Community Ownership Fund has now closed. Bids are now being reviewed and will be announced in due course.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)