§ Mr. Harris
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has any proposals for extending the home improvement grant scheme at its present rate of 90 per cent. beyond 31 March 1984.
§ Sir George Young
The Department made the following announcement as in the following letter to the local authority associations on 19 October:
- G. McCartney Esq.
- Association of District Councils
- 25 Buckingham Gate
- London SW1
HOME IMPROVEMENT GRANTSYou will remember that special arrangements were made in 1982/83 and 1983/84 to increase the rates at which grants for installing basic amenities and for carrying out structural repairs were made. In addition, special capital allocations were made available to local authorities to support extra expenditure on grants at the higher rates.Local authorities will now be preparing their housing programmes for next year. They have already been informed that they can plan on the basis that Housing Investment Programme allocations in 1984/85 will be at least 80 per cent. of the amounts 11W notified in 1983/84 provided that they can justify the need for this investment. The Government will announce its future expenditure plans later in the year; and HIP allocations will be made as soon as possible afterwards. Many local authorities have, however, asked for an early indication of likely arrangements for expenditure on Home Improvement Grants next year.The higher rates for intermediate and repairs grants which have been in force since April 1982 will not be extended to applications made after 31 March 1984. It is not envisaged that any special arrangements will be made for additional retrospective allocations to be available to local authorities for expenditure on improvement grants in 1984/85. Such expenditure will, however, continue to be regarded by Government as an important part of the housing programme, and will be taken fully into account in determining the allocations made to individual authorities. Careful consideration will also be given to requirements for expenditure on area based improvement projects, particularly enveloping schemes.