§ Mr. McDonnell
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on the impact of changes in the regulations governing the major repairs allowance for local authorities on the ability of local authorities to provide accommodation through housing associations. 
Mr. Robert Ainsworth
Council housing is a major public asset which needs to be maintained and modernised. The introduction of the Major Repairs Allowance will provide local authorities with the resources they need to meet the on-going capital costs of maintaining their housing stock. This and the virtual tripling of resources146W provided to authorities for housing investment between May 1997 and 2003–04, are central to delivering our commitment to bring all social housing up to a decent standard by 2010.
The provision of additional affordable housing in areas of high demand is also a priority. Within the same period, we are nearly doubling resources for the Housing Corporation's Approved Development Programme.