HC Deb 09 March 1994 vol 239 c294W
Mr. Austin Mitchell

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the budget allocated to the Housing Corporation for living-over-the-shop initiatives; and how much of it has been spent.

Sir George Young

The Housing Corporation does not have a separate or ringfenced budget for flats-over-shops schemes. These form part of its overall investment in rehabilitation activities, financed from its approved development programme. Nevertheless, in 1993–94, it expects to invest £2.48 million in such schemes. To date, claims have been received for nearly 58 per cent. of this, and the corporation hopes to increase this percentage considerably by the end of the financial year. Although the Housing Corporation monitors spend on individual schemes, any underspend represents a shortfall against housing associations' intended programmes of works rather than against national targets as set by the Housing Corporation. In addition, this Department has made up to £10 million in supplementary credit approvals available to local authorities in 1993–94. Where SCAs are awarded, a grant to meet the renovation cost of the scheme will be made through a local authority housing association grant, administered by the Housing Corporation.