Magazine article Public Finance

Renewal Scheme 'Demolishes More Houses Than It Builds'

Magazine article Public Finance

Renewal Scheme 'Demolishes More Houses Than It Builds'

Article excerpt

Attempts by the government to improve the housing market in the North of England and the Midlands have been more 'successful at demolishing old homes' than building new ones, a committee of MPs has warned.

In a report published on July 3, the Public Accounts Committee said it was difficult to tell if the five-year-old Housing Market Renewal Programme had made any impact on local housing demand, despite a ?2.2bn investment

Although the programme, which aims to refurbish or demolish and rebuild homes, is expected to run for a further ten years, PAC chair Edward Leigh was critical of its progress to date and said more involvement of local residents was needed.

"The Department for Communities and Local Government must work to foster confidence among local residents, especially where the programme has led to community stress,' he said.

'Ways need to be found of helping existing residents bridge the gap between the compensation they receive under a compulsory purchase order and the cost of another local property

A spokesman for the DCLG strongly defended the programme, which has set up sub-regional partnerships in nine areas to tackle high concentrations of properties that are hard to let or sell, loss of population and difficulties attracting new households. …

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