Falconer keeps up the pressure on poor housing

14 Mar 02
Poorly performing housing departments have been warned by the government that they will not be let off the hook.

15 March 2002

Housing minister Lord Falconer told council leaders this week it was disappointing that he had been forced to write to 22 authorities that had received poor reports from Best Value inspectors.

Implementation of the government's decent homes target - requiring all social housing to be brought up to standard by 2010 - had been patchy, he told the Local Government Association's annual housing conference in Nottingham on March 12.

In addition, he added, there was too much reliance on bed-and-breakfast accommodation for homeless families, an unwillingness to identify sites for affordable housing in areas of high demand, and inconsistency in tackling antisocial behaviour.

Most of the 22 councils had received 'the jolt they needed to step up a gear'. But he added: 'Where service improvement isn't swift in coming, I will not hold back from intervening.'

Falconer outlined how resources will be allocated through the housing investment programme. Part of the 'performance pot' will be for producing effective strategies and plans, with extra money for authorities showing they have gone beyond the new 'fit-for- purpose' standard.

Further money will be allocated to authorities that make progress in delivering objectives.

Falconer said: 'If you don't have a fit-for-purpose plan you waste money and, worse, you needlessly deny people a decent home.'


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