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UK Government's Social Housing Refurbishment Drive

Thirty eight councils in England have today been given the go-ahead for their plans to transfer more than 94,000 homes during the next two years, as part of the Government’s social housing refurbishment drive.

Twenty four councils have been granted immediate places on the 2006 Housing Transfer Programme and further discussions with the remaining councils about their schemes are continuing.

Housing Minister Yvette Cooper said the Government was committed to improving housing and building new homes for the next generation.

“Social housing must meet modern standards. It is not fair that at the beginning of the 21st century some social tenants should be living in houses without decent kitchens or bathrooms or even without proper heating or with old leaky windows. That is why the decent homes programme is so important.

"We have invested £21bn since 1997 in refurbishing old council housing, transforming the lives of tenants. That has led to the number of non-decent homes dropping by one million. Today's announcement will help more than 80,000 more families get a decent warm home, and a further 100,000 maintained at the standard that tenants have the right to expect.

As part of the Decent Homes drive the Minister announced 49 schemes, involving 38 local authorities that will ensure social rented homes meet and are maintained at minimum standards of decency by transferring their stock to Registered Social Landlords (RSLs).

The 2006 Housing Transfer Programme involves 29 new transfer schemes to RSLs, with an additional 20 schemes being held open subject to further discussions between DCLG local authorities and RSLs. These schemes are primarily where housing stock has a negative value, and a funding gap would have to be filled to enable a transfer to take place to an RSL.

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