Lord Kennedy of Southwark Written Questions

60 Questions to Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government tabled by Lord Kennedy of Southwark


Date Title Questioner
29 Jun 2020, 12:51 p.m. Grenfell Tower: Fires Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether all those who lost their homes in the fire at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017 are now rehoused in permanent accommodation.

Answer (Lord Greenhalgh)

According to the latest data from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council (RBKC), as of 12th June 2020, of the 201 households from Grenfell Tower and Walk that require rehousing, 194 households have moved into permanent accommodation. Of the 7 households who have not yet moved into a permanent home, they have either accepted a permanent home or have a suitable permanent home reserved for them that meets the Council’s assessment of their housing need.

We expect RBKC to do whatever is necessary to ensure households can move into permanent homes as swiftly as possible, but to do so sensitively and taking into account individual needs, and are continuing to work closely with RBKC to ensure this occurs without unnecessary delay.

3 Jun 2020, 4:37 p.m. Homelessness: Coronavirus Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that no homeless person taken off the streets during the COVID-19 returns to living on the streets.

Answer (Lord Greenhalgh)

The latest figures show that nearly 15,000 vulnerable people have been housed in emergency accommodation, including hotels, since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown period. This includes people coming in directly from the streets, people previously housed in shared night shelters and people who have become vulnerable to rough sleeping during the pandemic. To support councils across England with these efforts, the Government provided £3.2 billion in funding. This is in addition to providing £3.2 million in emergency funding for local authorities to support vulnerable rough sleepers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Building on the considerable success so far, we announced that Dame Louise Casey will spearhead a taskforce to lead the next phase of the Government’s support for rough sleepers during the pandemic.

The taskforce will work hand-in-hand with councils across the country on plans to ensure rough sleepers can move into long-term, safe accommodation once the immediate crisis is over – ensuring as few people as possible return to life on the streets. It will also seek to ensure the thousands of rough sleepers now in accommodation continue to receive the physical and mental health support they need.

On 24 May, we also announced plans for thousands of long-term, safe homes to support many of the vulnerable rough sleepers who have been supported during the Covid-19 pandemic. Here, vulnerable rough sleepers taken off the streets during the pandemic can get the specialist support they need to rebuild their lives.

This unprecedented commitment – the biggest of its kind since the Government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative began – will be backed by £160 million in 2020 to 2021 to inject 3,300 new units of accommodation this year, part of 6,000 in total.

This means in 2020-2021, we are providing £606 million to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping. This marks a £238 million, or 65% increase, in funding from the previous year.

7 May 2019, 3:49 p.m. Private Rented Housing: Social Security Benefits Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking, or plan to take, to stop landlords and lettings agents from not offering properties to people who are on benefits.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Government recently announced its intention to tackle the issue of private letting advertisements that specify ‘no DSS’ tenants. Over the coming months, the Government will meet industry representatives to discuss what action can be taken to end this practice. We will also be working with colleagues in other government departments, including the Department for Work & Pensions, to explore how we can drive this change across government.

7 Jan 2019, 4 p.m. Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on 18 December (HL12036), why they have not commenced those parts of the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 not yet in force.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

In relation to the Planning provisions in Part 1 of the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017, Section 7 (Engagement by examiners with qualified bodies, etc) has not been commenced as the Department wishes to first see how effective recently produced sector led guidance by the Neighbourhood Planning Independent Examiner Referral Service is. Guidance required under Section 8(2) (Content of development plan documents) will be published shortly. The provisions under Section 14 (Planning conditions) restricting the power to impose planning conditions have not commenced as they require affirmative regulations and further public consultation.

In relation to the Compulsory Purchase provisions in Part 2 of the Act, Sections 18-28 and 31 (Temporary possession of land) are yet to be commenced as they are subject to the making of other regulations and further public consultation. Sections 39 and 40 (Interest on late payments) cannot be commenced until other regulations relating to rates of interest are made. The Government continues to keep the commencement of these remaining provisions under active review alongside further planning reforms.

7 Jan 2019, 4 p.m. Owner Occupation Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to reform residential leasehold and commonhold law.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Government wants to ensure the leasehold system in England is fair and transparent to the consumer. Unfair practices in the leasehold market have no place in a modern housing market. Neither do excessive ground rents, which exploit consumers who get nothing in return.

Our technical consultation on how to improve the leasehold market and make it fairer for consumers closed on 26 November. It sought views on:

  • how to ban the development of new build leasehold houses, other than in exceptional circumstances;
  • how to restrict ground rents in newly established leases of houses and flats to a nominal, peppercorn value; and
  • how to address loopholes in the law to improve transparency and fairness for leaseholders and freeholders.

The Government is carefully analysing the responses and will introduce legislation as soon as Parliamentary time allows


The Secretary of State has asked the Law Commission to take forward further work to reform residential and commonhold law. The Law Commission is currently consulting on how to make buying a freehold or extending a lease easier, faster, fairer and cheaper, and how to reinvigorate commonhold to provide greater choice for consumers. The Law Commission is due to report to ministers on these issues in 2019. In addition, the Secretary of State has asked the Law Commission to look at improving the laws which allow leaseholders to manage their own buildings.

20 Dec 2018, 12:50 p.m. Local Government Finance Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the relationship between the delivery of statutory services by local authorities and the financial sustainability of local authorities.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

As part of Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (MHCLG) responsibility for the overall sustainability of the local government finance system, the Department assesses the total amount of funding available to local government to deliver statutory responsibilities. The Department assesses this both top-down, looking at a macro level to see how much funding is in the system as a whole when set against cost drivers, demographics and opportunities for efficiencies; and bottom-up looking at financial indicators, overall capacity, leadership and governance for individual authorities. The Department’s overall judgement also considers whether there is flexibility in the system to respond to events, emergencies and to be able to provide the broader local leadership expected by communities.

Each department is then responsible for establishing its own arrangements to ensure that services for which it has policy responsibility remain sustainable and that statutory responsibilities are being met. Local authorities are also independent of central Government, and are responsible for managing their financial budgets and for making spending decisions in line with their priority needs.

20 Dec 2018, 12:41 p.m. Local Government: Kent Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are providing to Kent County Council’s preparations for a no deal Brexit.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The preparedness of Kent County Council and all of local government will be of fundamental importance in securing the country’s successful transition as we exit the EU.

My department and its Resilience and Emergencies Division, Kent’s Local Resilience Forum, the Home Office and Border Force, the Department for Transport and Highways England, are all working together with Kent County Council to help make sure that the county is fully prepared.

The Department for Transport and Highways England are key partners in the Kent Resilience Forum’s Fennel Group on transport management, providing support, resource and funding to ensure plans are appropriate for the possible scenarios that are faced. The Borders Delivery Group is working closely with the Kent Resilience Forum and local stakeholders to help ensure that actions being undertaken are coordinated.

My department provides a range of support to all Local Authorities to help them prepare for Brexit under both ‘deal’ and ‘no deal’ scenarios. This includes the EU Exit Local Government Delivery Board where MHCLG’s Secretary of State and other ministers from across government engage with sector leaders.

19 Dec 2018, 5:38 p.m. Regional Planning and Development: North of England Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to review the effectiveness of the Northern Powerhouse strategy following the resignation of the mayor of Liverpool from the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Northern Powerhouse Partnership is a non-political organisation, and independent of government. Mayor Joe Anderson’s decision to resign from the partnership is a private matter between him and the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.

19 Dec 2018, 4:05 p.m. Grenfell Tower: Fires Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many families left homeless after the Grenfell Tower fire are still not in permanent accommodation.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

There are 201 households from Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk requiring rehousing following the Grenfell Tower fire. As of 17 December, the latest data from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea shows that of the 201 households, 193 households have accepted an offer of permanent accommodation and 161 of these have moved in. There are 40 remaining households yet to move into permanent accommodation. 22 of these households are living in high quality temporary accommodation and 18 households are living in emergency accommodation (9 in hotels, 8 in serviced apartments and 1 household is living with family). Every household has a suitable property reserved for them. I expect the Council to continue to support households to move into permanent accommodation as quickly as possible.

19 Dec 2018, 1:04 p.m. Local Government: Standards Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the briefing paper by the Centre for Public Scrutiny and Localis Decline and fall: understanding how and why local government fails, what leads to central Government intervention, and what comes after, published on 10 December.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

We have read the interim report by the Centre for Public Scrutiny and Localis, and welcome the approach that they have outlined in their paper. We note that the Centre for Public Scrutiny and Localis are planning further research in 2019, and look forward to reading their final report.

21 Sep 2018, 1:21 p.m. Homelessness Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Housing First model developed in Finland in the context of tackling homelessness in the UK.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The former Secretary of State and Officials from this Department have visited Finland in order to see first hand the Housing First approach, which has been implemented.

As a result of this, Peter Fredrikson, a former senior advisor to the Finnish Government on Housing First and homelessness, was invited to sit on the Rough Sleeping Advisory panel which helped Government produce the Rough Sleeping Strategy, published on 13 August.

In order to test the approach at scale in this country we are investing £28 million in 3 regional Housing First pilots in the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region.

The first tranche of funding was paid to the regions in June. The Department is working closely, through the recently established Rough Sleeping Initiative, with the combined authorities, who are leading the implementation of the pilots in the regions. The aim of this close working will be to establish an ambitious model of support.

21 Sep 2018, 1:20 p.m. Combined Authorities: Public Appointments Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the processes in place to make appointments in combined authorities are sufficiently robust to ensure a rigorous appointment process and the selection of the best candidates for the positions advertised.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

It is for each combined authority to decide the appointment processes that it adopts within the applicable statutory framework which also applies to local authorities, including the requirement that all appointments of officers are to be made on merit. Should an appointment be proposed or made contrary to the statutory framework, the combined authority's monitoring officer is under a duty to make a public report.

19 Sep 2018, 2:18 p.m. High Rise Flats: Fire Prevention Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many social housing tower blocks that have failed Building Research Establishment tests have had their cladding fully removed, or rectified.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

121 buildings have started the process of remediation, and of these freeholders have reported that 14 buildings have finished remediation – including receiving sign-off from building control where necessary. Government is fully funding the removal and replacement of unsafe aluminium composite material cladding on residential social housing buildings over 18 metres owned by councils and housing associations, with costs estimated at £400 million. The latest remediation figures are found in the Building Safety Programme’s monthly data release: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-programme-monthly-data-release-august-2018.

19 Sep 2018, 2:18 p.m. Local Government Finance Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the concerns raised by the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers about proposals from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy to devise a simplified approach to assess councils' financial resilience.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The production of the resilience index is a matter for Charted Institute of Public Finance Accountancy (CIPFA). We are aware CIPFA have recently concluded a consultation of their proposed resilience index. I understand that CIPFA are considering the outcome of the consultation, including representations from sector organisations and senior managers within local government.

19 Sep 2018, 2:18 p.m. UK Municipal Bonds Agency: Finance Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the financial viability of the UK Municipal Bonds Agency.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

UK Municipal Bonds Agency is owned by the Local Government Association and Local Councils. It is for the sector to form a view on the financial viability of such an agency.

19 Sep 2018, 2:16 p.m. Local Government Finance: Coastal Areas Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are providing to local authorities that serve coastal communities.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Since 2012 we have invested over £173 million across the UK in 295 Coastal Community Fund (CCF) projects. Over 70 per cent of this funding has gone to coastal local authorities that have been awarded grants directly for their own projects or to manage funds on behalf of voluntary or community sector projects in their area. I will shortly be announcing the first tranche of winners in CCF Round 5 in England

We have also provided £1.46 million to help establish 146 Coastal Community Teams (CCTs) in England which bring together local councils, businesses, and local stakeholders to agree priorities for economic development in their area. The £10,000 grant each CCT has received was paid to the participating local authority, all of whom are involved in the development of the CCT economic plan.

The Coastal Revival Fund (CRF) has provided £3.7 million to support 92 projects in coastal areas in England to help kick start the regeneration of “at risk” coastal heritage with potential to create opportunities for new economic uses. All CRF grants are paid through local authorities to support approved projects. A new CRF round opened in May 2018 with £1 million available to help bring more coastal heritage assets back into use.

Central government also pays Revenue Support Grant to all local authorities, including those serving coastal communities, to finance revenue expenditure on any service they provide.

19 Sep 2018, 2:16 p.m. Building Regulations and Fire Safety Independent Review Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made on fire safety since the publication of the Hackitt Review in May.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Secretary of State's written statement on 19 July (HCWS890) provided a comprehensive update on the critical work that the Government has done thus far to improve building safety and ensure that people are safe, and feel safe in their homes. The Government also produces monthly data releases on progress with identifying and remediating buildings with unsafe cladding combinations, the most recent of which was on 23 August and is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-programme-monthly-data-release-august-2018

17 Sep 2018, 1:14 p.m. Wandle: Standards Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the governance arrangements at Wandle Housing, following the decision by the Regulator of Social Housing to downgrade its governance rating.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Responsibility for the assessment of the governance of housing associations lies with the Regulator of Social Housing. Wandle Housing and Wirral Partnership Homes have both been downgraded from G1 gradings to G2. G2 is a compliant grade, which means that the Regulator still considers them to comply with its regulatory standards for governance.

Details of the Regulator’s assessment can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/regulatory-judgements-and-regulatory-notices-a-to-z-list

17 Sep 2018, 1:14 p.m. Wirral Partnership Homes: Standards Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the governance arrangements at Wirral Partnership Homes, following the decision by the Regulator of Social Housing to downgrade its governance rating.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Responsibility for the assessment of the governance of housing associations lies with the Regulator of Social Housing. Wandle Housing and Wirral Partnership Homes have both been downgraded from G1 gradings to G2. G2 is a compliant grade, which means that the Regulator still considers them to comply with its regulatory standards for governance.

Details of the Regulator’s assessment can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/regulatory-judgements-and-regulatory-notices-a-to-z-list

17 Sep 2018, 1:13 p.m. High Rise Flats: Fire Prevention Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risks associated with installing combustible window panels on social housing tower blocks.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Infill panels (including window panels and spandrel panels) are part of the building envelope and subject to the Building Regulations requirement that external walls adequately resist the spread of fire over the walls. The Government has recently consulted on banning combustible materials in external wall systems and asked in that consultation if spandrel panels should be included in any such ban. The Government is currently considering the responses to the consultation. In December 2017 the Government issued an advice note for building owners with non-ACM cladding and considers the principles of the advice note to also be relevant to infill panels. The Government has also referred the matter to the Expert Panel for further advice.

17 Sep 2018, 1:13 p.m. Local Government Finance Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they take to ensure that funding is distributed between local authorities in a fair and equitable manner.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Government is currently conducting a review of the relative needs and resources of local authorities in England, with a view to setting fresh baseline funding levels in 2020-21. We are working closely with local government representatives and others to consider the drivers of local authorities’ costs, the resources available locally to fund services, and how we should account for these in a way that draws a more transparent and understandable link between local circumstances and resource allocations.

17 Sep 2018, 1:11 p.m. High Rise Flats: Fire Prevention Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what changes, if any, they have made to the advice that they give to local authorities and other social housing providers following the fire at Grenfell Tower.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Government has worked with the Industry Response Group and Expert Panel to publish an information note to assist building owners who are undertaking remediation work. The information note can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/information-note-for-landlords-and-building-owners-of-tall-residential-buildings-with-acm-cladding

If a local authority building owner considers any of their buildings to be unsafe, they will need to determine what measures are essential to make each building fire safe, taking into account expert advice, and any directions or advice from the local fire and rescue service.

The Government will fully fund the removal and replacement of unsafe aluminium composite material cladding on residential social housing buildings over 18m owned by councils and housing associations, with costs estimated at £400m.

30 Jul 2018, 2:05 p.m. Coastal Areas: Regeneration Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the role of the arts in revitalising seaside towns.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Promoting the arts is an important element in ensuring that our seaside towns continue to grow and prosper. We have helped establish 146 Coastal Community Teams around the English coastline, which have produced Economic Plans setting out both the short and longer term priorities to enable their area to promote jobs and economic growth. The arts will play a particular role in the tourism offer in many of the Economic Plans the Coastal Community Teams have developed. In addition, through the Coastal Communities Fund and the Coastal Revival Fund, we are supporting many regeneration and heritage projects involving the arts in coastal towns.

30 Jul 2018, 12:39 p.m. Social Rented Housing Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will publish their Green Paper on social housing.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Providing high quality and well managed social housing is a top priority for this government. Shortly we will publish a Green Paper that sets out a new deal for social housing tenants.

30 Jul 2018, 12:39 p.m. Social Rented Housing Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect to publish the Green Paper on Social Housing announced on 19 September 2017.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Providing high quality and well managed social housing is a top priority for this government. Shortly we will publish a Green Paper that sets out a new deal for social housing tenants.

25 Jul 2018, 9:10 a.m. Local Government: Telephone Services Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of local authorities using 0845 numbers to deliver services; and what action, if any, they plan to take to encourage them to use cheaper alternatives.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The use of 0845 numbers for customer services was made illegal in 2014. The Department expects that local authorities are fully compliant with the law and has therefore made no assessment of local authorities using 0845 numbers in the delivery of services.

13 Jul 2018, 1:41 p.m. Non-domestic Rates Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the fairness of business rates in England.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Government undertook a fundamental review of business rates in 2016 and decided to retain business rates as a property tax. Recognising the pressures on business the Government has since introduced a range of business rates reforms and measures to support businesses worth over £10 billion by 2023, including permanently doubling Small Business Rate Relief and raising the threshold for relief, meaning that 600,000 small businesses now pay no rates, and helping all businesses by switching the measure of inflation from Retail Price Index to Consumer Price Index.

13 Jul 2018, 1:39 p.m. Urban Areas Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the importance of the high street in England for communities; and of the future of the high street.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

High streets are a crucial part of our communities. The Government is determined to see our Great British high streets thriving now, and in the future. We want to see vibrant hubs where people live, shop, use services, and spend their leisure time, and that includes a welcoming and safe night-time economy.

This is why I have announced that my Department will launch a call for evidence over the summer looking at the future of our high street. I intend to establish an expert panel of industry leaders to draw on their experience and expertise to diagnose the issues currently affecting the health of our high streets and advise on the best approach for their revival.

In addition, during Great British High Street Week in July, Ministers from my Department and across government are currently visiting high streets to discuss the issues they face.

11 Jul 2018, 11:13 a.m. Council Tax Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the rates of council taxes paid by properties in bands A and B compared to properties in the highest bands, and (2) the revaluation of council tax bands.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Council tax levels are a matter for individual local authorities, although the Government maintains a referendum threshold to allow voters in England the final say over any excessive increases. The amount charged for properties in different bands is determined by the application of ratios to the authority’s band D council tax level. These ratios are set out in Section 5 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. The Government has no plans to undertake a council tax revaluation.

2 Jul 2018, 4:29 p.m. High Rise Flats: Insulation Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the decision of the Welsh Government to ban the use of combustible cladding on high rise residential buildings.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

On 18 June my Department published a consultation on banning the use of combustible materials in the external walls of high-rise residential buildings. This is available (attached) at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/banning-the-use-of-combustible-materials-in-the-external-walls-of-high-rise-residential-buildings

As a Devolved Administration the decisions of the Welsh Assembly Government are an issue devolved for their own consideration.

2 Jul 2018, 4:28 p.m. Right to Buy Scheme: Housing Associations Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what the funding arrangements are for the Right to Buy pilot for tenants of housing associations in the Midlands this summer; and how long the pilot will last.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

In the Autumn Budget 2017 the Chancellor announced funding of £200 million for the Voluntary Right to Buy Midlands pilot, which will be launched this summer. The Government will fund the cost of the discounts, and all sales under the pilot are expected to be completed by March 2020.

2 Jul 2018, 4:27 p.m. Housing Associations: Older People Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the future for specialist housing associations which offer properties for older people.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Government is clear that specialist housing associations offering housing for older people play an important role in providing safe, affordable homes that keep people independent for longer. That’s why our Affordable Homes Programme has committed £400 million to build 8,000 new supported homes by 2020, and the Department of Health and Social Care's Care and Support Specialised Housing (CASSH) fund is investing £200 million to build over 6,000 supported homes.

2 Jul 2018, 4:27 p.m. Newlon Housing Trust Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the financial viability of Newlon Housing Trust.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Responsibility for the assessment of the governance and financial viability of housing associations - including risk management - lies with the Regulator of Social Housing.

Details of the Regulator’s assessment (attached) can be found at :

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulatory-judgements-and-regulatory-notices

2 Jul 2018, 4:27 p.m. One Housing Group Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the governance arrangements at One Housing Group.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Responsibility for the assessment of the governance and financial viability of housing associations - including risk management - lies with the Regulator of Social Housing.

Details of the Regulator’s assessment (attached) can be found at :

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulatory-judgements-and-regulatory-notices

2 Jul 2018, 4:27 p.m. Howard Cottage Housing Association Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risk management processes at Howard Cottage housing association.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Responsibility for the assessment of the governance and financial viability of housing associations - including risk management - lies with the Regulator of Social Housing.

Details of the Regulator’s assessment (attached) can be found at :

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulatory-judgements-and-regulatory-notices

30 May 2018, 2:56 p.m. Local Government: Sales Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment have they made of the use of conditional sale agreements by local authorities.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The terms under which local authorities dispose of their assets is a matter for local authorities. The government has made no assessment of their use of conditional sale agreements.

30 May 2018, 2:45 p.m. Grenfell Tower: Fires Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they last met Councillors and officials from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to discuss matters related to the fire at Grenfell Tower.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, chairs a regular Ministerial Recovery Group, which Councillors and officials from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) attend, to coordinate cross Government activity and to monitor, challenge and support RBKC in delivering services to those affected. The most recent meeting was on 22 May 2018.

24 May 2018, 3:43 p.m. Leasehold Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the adequacy of protection in place for people and organisations that have leasehold interests in land from freeholds being sold by local authorities to third parties.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

We are constantly working to ensure that protection for leaseholders is adequate. That is why on 21 December 2017, the Government set out a package of measures to tackle abuses and unfair practices in the leasehold market. This includes introducing legislation to prohibit the development of new build leasehold houses, other than in exceptional circumstances, restricting ground rents in newly established leases of houses and flats to a peppercorn (zero financial value) and working with the Law Commission to support existing leaseholders - including making buying a freehold or extending a lease easier, faster, fairer and cheaper. As part of the reform, we will consider extending the existing Right of First Refusal for flat lessees (Part 1 of the Landlord Act 1987) to house lessees. In general, the provision states that where a landlord is proposing to sell his interest in a building containing flats in relation to which the Right of First Refusal exists, they must, by law, first offer it to the tenants before offering it on the open market.

25 Apr 2018, 2:57 p.m. Rented Housing: Older People Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that there is a sufficient supply of housing for older people in the private rented, social and council housing sectors.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

In our Housing White Paper, the Government set out proposals to do more to provide the homes we need for all in our society, including older people. We are strengthening the National Planning Policy Framework, so that local planning authorities are expected to have clear policies for addressing the housing needs of older people. Planning authorities should also include a plan policy setting out their approach to promoting Build to Rent. We will be publishing further guidance on housing for older people this summer. We have also been clear that housing will form a part of our considerations as we set out proposals in our forthcoming Green Paper to reform care and support for older people which will be published in summer 2018.

Since 2012, this Government has supported growth of the Build to Rent sector with a Build to Rent Fund (£630m) and debt guarantees to increase delivery. Over 20,000 homes have been completed since 2012 and a further 97,000 are in the pipeline (British Property Federation, Quarter 1, 2018). We would also note that greater institutional investment in the Private Rented Sector will improve standards, give tenants greater security and increase choice for all tenants.

Local authorities are responsible for ensuring that their provision of social housing meets local need, including for older people. This Government is providing a stable investment environment for councils to support the delivery of new homes, by allowing local authorities to increase rents by up to CPI +1% for 5 years from 2020. This will give councils the security and certainty they need to plan investment, and provide greater confidence about their future rental income to underpin their future house building plans. Furthermore, we will raise the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap by a total of up to £1 billion in areas of high affordability pressure, for local authorities who are ready to start building new homes. Local authorities will be able to bid for increases in their caps between 2019-20 and 2021/22.

In addition, since 2011, we have delivered almost 30,000 supported housing units for disabled, vulnerable and older people. At Autumn Statement 2015, we announced £400 million for new specialist affordable homes for vulnerable, older or disabled people.

25 Apr 2018, 2:57 p.m. Rented Housing: Older People Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with (1) housing associations, (2) private rented sector bodies, and (3) local authorities, about the availability of suitable housing for older people.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

In our Housing White Paper, the Government set out proposals to do more to provide the homes we need for all in our society, including older people. We are strengthening the National Planning Policy Framework, so that local planning authorities are expected to have clear policies for addressing the housing needs of older people. Planning authorities should also include a plan policy setting out their approach to promoting Build to Rent. We will be publishing further guidance on housing for older people this summer. We have also been clear that housing will form a part of our considerations as we set out proposals in our forthcoming Green Paper to reform care and support for older people which will be published in summer 2018.

Since 2012, this Government has supported growth of the Build to Rent sector with a Build to Rent Fund (£630m) and debt guarantees to increase delivery. Over 20,000 homes have been completed since 2012 and a further 97,000 are in the pipeline (British Property Federation, Quarter 1, 2018). We would also note that greater institutional investment in the Private Rented Sector will improve standards, give tenants greater security and increase choice for all tenants.

Local authorities are responsible for ensuring that their provision of social housing meets local need, including for older people. This Government is providing a stable investment environment for councils to support the delivery of new homes, by allowing local authorities to increase rents by up to CPI +1% for 5 years from 2020. This will give councils the security and certainty they need to plan investment, and provide greater confidence about their future rental income to underpin their future house building plans. Furthermore, we will raise the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap by a total of up to £1 billion in areas of high affordability pressure, for local authorities who are ready to start building new homes. Local authorities will be able to bid for increases in their caps between 2019-20 and 2021/22.

In addition, since 2011, we have delivered almost 30,000 supported housing units for disabled, vulnerable and older people. At Autumn Statement 2015, we announced £400 million for new specialist affordable homes for vulnerable, older or disabled people.

16 Apr 2018, 3:25 p.m. Housing Associations Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment have they made of the loss of social rented homes as housing associations convert them to affordable rented homes.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Since 2010 we have delivered over 357,000 new affordable homes, including almost 128,000 at social rent.

We are providing over £9 billion funding for the Affordable Homes Programme to March 2021. This includes an additional £2 billion, and the ability for local authorities and Housing Associations to bid for funding for social rent homes.

16 Apr 2018, 3:24 p.m. Client Money Protection Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they intend to issue regulations for Client Money Protection schemes.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Government is committed to making membership of a client money protection scheme mandatory for property agents in the private rented sector. Our response to the recent consultation was published on 1 April 2018, which sets out our implementation approach. We will bring forward secondary legislation to implement our commitment after Easter recess. We intend to give sufficient notice and a transition period for agents to comply with the requirement to join a client money protection scheme.

16 Apr 2018, 3:24 p.m. Dulwich Hamlet Football Club Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on 28 March (HL Deb, col 830), what steps they have taken to find a mediator to bring the various parties together to seek a solution to the present impasse concerning Dulwich Hamlet Football Club.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Southwark Council has asked its Director of Regeneration to start negotiations with a view to purchasing the site. During a debate on this issue in Parliament on 16 March the Sports Minister confirmed that should the negotiations fail, she will look to find and appoint an independent mediator who can facilitate the constructive talks needed between all parties and, in the process, help to secure a future for this well-supported community club for many years to come.

9 Apr 2018, 1:44 p.m. Grenfell Tower: Fires Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their latest estimate of when all the survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire will be rehoused in permanent accommodation.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

As of 22 March, 189 (almost 90 per cent of households) from Grenfell Tower or Walk have accepted an offer of either temporary or permanent accommodation, and 62 households have moved into permanent accommodation.

Furthermore, the Council has now made over 300 properties available to those who lost their homes, so each household can now choose a good quality property that meets their needs, with the option of staying in the area if that is what they wish.

We expect all households, regardless of their level of engagement, to be given whatever support they require to be rehoused as quickly as possible. The Government will continue to play their part, providing support and challenge to the Council, and financial support currently worth more than £72 million.

9 Apr 2018, 1:43 p.m. Grenfell Tower: Fires Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government when Ministers last met Councillors or officials from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to discuss issues surrounding Grenfell Tower.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Secretary of State spoke to the Leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) on 21 March to discuss issues relating to their Grenfell Tower recovery programme. The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, chairs a regular Ministerial Recovery Group, which Councillors and officials from RBKC attend, to coordinate cross Government activity and to monitor, challenge and support RBKC in delivering services to those affected. The most recent meeting was on 14 March 2018.

9 Apr 2018, 1:42 p.m. Grenfell Tower: Fires Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many survivors from the Grenfell Tower fire have moved into permanent accommodation.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Data provided by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea shows that, as of 22 March, 147 out of the 212 households from Grenfell Tower and Walk that need to be rehoused have accepted an offer of permanent accommodation. Of that number, 62 households have now moved into permanent accommodation.

The Council reports that it has made over 300 permanent homes available for survivors from Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk. It is critical that these properties meet the highest safety standards, and contractors have been appointed to ensure that necessary repairs and safety checks are carried out as a priority so that households will be able to move into their new homes.

I expect all households - regardless of their level of engagement - to be given whatever support they require to be rehoused as quickly as possible.

5 Jan 2018, 1:07 p.m. Leasehold Advisory Service Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people the leasehold advisory service has advised in the last two years.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The number of people served by LEASE in 2016-17 and 2015-16 is as follows:

2016-17

2015-16

Total

Total website Visits

1,429,446

1,166,695

2,596,141

Advice enquiry contacts by traditional channels, i.e. telephone, writing and in person*

16,819

20,844

37,663

Total enquiries

23,679

30,588

54,267

*This is actual customers. Total enquiries reflect total contacts i.e. a customer may come to us through more than one channel.

22 Dec 2017, 2:36 p.m. Homes and Communities Agency Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many actions the Homes and Communities Agency has taken against social housing providers in the last five years.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Registered Social housing providers are regulated by the Regulator of Social Housing. The Regulator of Social Housing has a number of tools available allowing it to take action where there is evidence that a registered provider is not meeting the requirements of the Regulators Standards.

Details of all judgements made by the regulator (attached)may be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulatory-judgements-and-regulatory-notices.

22 Dec 2017, 12:18 p.m. Hedges and Ditches Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the procedures in place regarding high hedges, high hedge remedial notices, and appeals.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Local Authorities are best placed to consider unresolved disputes regarding high hedges. These procedures are set out in Planning Practice Guidance. The Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 enables local authorities to intervene and gives people who are unhappy with a council’s decision a right of appeal to the Secretary of State.

22 Dec 2017, 12:18 p.m. Housing: Construction Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many schemes have received funding through the Homes Building Fund to date.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

To date the Home Building Fund has contracted 153 schemes, worth over £1.4 billion in loan funding, which will deliver over 88,000 homes. At budget the Chancellor announced an additional £1.5 billion funding for the fund to support small and medium sized builders, custom builders and innovation.

1 Nov 2017, 5:42 p.m. Housing and Planning Act 2016 Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures provided for in or under the Housing and Planning Act 2016 have been formally dropped.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Provisions 80-91 on rents for high income social tenants have formally been dropped.

1 Nov 2017, 2:16 p.m. Housing: Finance Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of new funding announced for housing in each year since June 2010 has been targeted towards (1) social housing,  (2) affordable housing, and (3) Help to Buy, Rent to Buy and other similar schemes.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Department for Communities and Local Government Annual Report and Accounts 2016/17 sets out the activities of the department across the financial year. This was published on 30 June 2017 and includes budget information about Help to Buy and Affordable Homes against total departmental budget. This is available (attached) online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dclg-annual-report-and-accounts-2016-to-2017

For Help to Buy, the total budget for each financial year 2011/12 – 2015/16 is as follows:

Budget for each financial year

2011-12 (£m)

2012-13 (£m)

2013-14 (£m)

2014-15 (£m)

2015-16 (£m)

Help to Buy (including First Buy)

70

142

908

1,469

1,505

For affordable housing, including social housing, the government funds this through the Affordable Homes programme with bidding for funding being made at beginning of the process. It does not announce funding on a yearly basis.

The expanded programme is fully flexible allowing a wider range of products that will help meet the housing needs of a wider range of people in different circumstances, including Help to Buy, Shared Ownership, Rent to Buy as well as affordable rent and social rent.

30 Oct 2017, 5:27 p.m. Letting Agents: Fees and Charges Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect to legislate to ban letting agents fees.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

We sought views on how the ban should be implemented and enforced during an eight week public consultation, which closed on 2 June. We received more than 4,700 responses, which we have been analysing carefully.

We will be publishing our response to the consultation and the Tenant Fees Bill shortly. We will provide more information on the implementation timetable following scrutiny of the draft bill.

30 Oct 2017, 5:27 p.m. Landlords: Licensing Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of local authority private sector landlord licensing schemes.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

Licensing is an effective targeted tool delivering improved standards and safety in the private rented sector in specific areas that are suffering from serious problems. The Department will shortly undertake a review of selective licensing.

30 Oct 2017, 2:57 p.m. Right to Buy Scheme: Housing Associations Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they are making on extending Right to Buy to housing association tenants.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

We are taking stock of the extension of Right to Buy discounts to housing association tenants, and will announce more details in due course.

30 Oct 2017, 2:56 p.m. Client Money Protection Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on 28 March (HL Deb, col 466), when they expect to legislate to introduce compulsory client money protection for landlords and tenants.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

It is essential that measures on Client Money Protection are considered in the round and implemented in a sensible and coherent way with other changes to the sector, notably the ban on letting agent fees paid by tenants, and regulation of letting agents.

We will provide more information on legislation and implementation shortly.

25 Sep 2017, 1:16 p.m. Energy Performance Certificates: Conservation Areas Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether it is a legal requirement to provide a prospective (1) buyer, and (2) tenant, with an Energy Performance Certificate whenever a dwelling in a conservation area is sold or let.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

An Energy Performance Certificate is required when either selling or renting a property in a conservation area unless a valid exemption applies. For example, listed buildings or buildings in a designated environment where compliance with certain minimum energy performance requirements would unacceptably alter their character or appearance.

19 Sep 2017, 1:09 p.m. High Rise Flats: Fire Prevention Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on 21 July (HL370), what does "followed up on all of them" mean in the context of the Coroner's report into the Lakanal House fire in 2009; and what were the recommendations of the Coroner that were (1) agreed, and (2) not agreed, by them.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Department considered and has acted on the recommendations of the Coroner's report into the Lakanal house fire in 2009. A note setting out the action the then Government took in response to the recommendations has been placed in the Library of the House.

13 Sep 2017, 11:56 a.m. Parking Offences: Fines Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are planning to take against private parking companies that have access to the DVLA database and impose large fines for minor traffic infringements.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

My Department is currently considering reforms to the private parking sector and we are determined to ensure motorists get fair treatment from private parking companies.

Private parking companies must be a member of a parking trade association if they wish to access DVLA data and issue parking charges. If they do not follow the trade association’s code of practice their access to DVLA data can be suspended.

We welcome the Rt Hon Sir Greg Knight’s Private Member’s Bill that seeks to create an independent code of practice for private parking companies. We look forward to reading Sir Greg’s recommendations.

13 Jul 2017, 3:48 p.m. Retail Trade: Urban Areas Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

Her Majesty's Government what assessment have they made of the role of business in reviving high streets.

Answer (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth)

The Government recognises the crucial role that business plays in reviving high streets. We established the Future High Street Forum in March 2013, consisting of retailers, investors and developers. The Forum provides joint business and Government leadership to enable our high streets to adapt and compete in the face of changing consumer and social trends. The Forum will advise the government in the formation and delivery of policies to support high streets and town centres, in the short and longer term.