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Prime minister pledges to reform "sink estates"

Week in Westminster

Published: 15 January 2016 | Author: Michelle Vosper

This week David Cameron announced that the government will work with 100 housing estates across the country to either radically transform them or, in the worst cases, knock them down and replace them with high-quality homes. This nationwide strategy will be supported by a new Estate Regeneration Advisory Panel, chaired by Lord Heseltine, who has long championed the regeneration of Britain’s inner cities. The Panel will report in detail by this year’s Autumn Statement.

This announcement was picked up by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn during prime minister’s questions. Mr Corbyn asked whether people on these estates who had bought their homes under the right to buy would be guaranteed new homes on the rebuilt estates. Mr Cameron reassured that this would be the case. Mr Corbyn also asked questions on the affordability of Starter Homes, to which the prime minister responded that because of government schemes the deposit on a typical home had been reduced from £30,000 to £10,000.

The Ministry of Defence announced that armed forces personnel posted overseas will be able to rent out their homes without facing higher mortgage costs or having to change their mortgage. This announcement was made ahead of an Armed Forces Covenant roundtable meeting of banking chiefs and ministers at No 10 where a range of measures to help service personnel and their families were discussed.

The Housing and Planning Bill had its final report and third reading stage in the Commons. The government made extensive amendments to part 4 of the Bill relating to social housing, including clauses in respect of implementation of the right to buy and mandatory rents for high income social tenants. The Bill has now been reprinted as amended in the Commons and introduced into the House of Lords.

The Welfare Reform and Work Bill had its final day’s consideration at Lords committee stage. A number of technical government amendments were agreed to in respect of the reduction of social housing rents. The Bill has been reprinted as amended in committee and will now move forward to report stage scheduled for 25 and 27 January.