25 March 2010

On Wednesday (24 March 2010) I met up with Housing Minister John Healy, MP to discuss building and improving Council homes.  John is a very likeable man and he outlined some of the changes was he due to announce on Thursday.  I was able to tell him that locally Labour has pledged to make every one of 47,000 Council homes warm, dry and safe and outlined parts of our plan for improving housing services run down under the Lib-Dems and Tories.
Nationally, the bold new deal on council housing means councils can now keep all of the proceeds of social rents and council house sales. This will give councils some leeway to invest in building, improving and acquiring properties for social use. We desperately need more good quality, well managed and maintained council homes.
John told me that is a once and for all settlement seeking to bring council house funding into the 21st century. By giving local authorities the freedom to fund and run their council homes, without central Government subsidy, not a single penny from rents or sales will go to Whitehall and not a single penny will subsidize other councils as the current system dictates. The deal will release at least ten per cent more money in every council for maintaining and managing their homes. And it will create the funding capacity to build over 10,000 new council homes a year.

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