Magazine article Public Finance

Miliband Firm on 'No Fourth Option'

Magazine article Public Finance

Miliband Firm on 'No Fourth Option'

Article excerpt

There will be no 'fourth option for funding improvements to housing stock and councils must use private money to achieve the decent homes standard, David Miliband was due to warn delegates on September 29.

As Public Finance went to press, the local government and communities minister was preparing to deliver an uncompromising message on the controversial issue.

A composite motion calling on the government to rethink its stance on housing finance was due to be put to a knife-edge vote during the local government session, taking place on the final day of the Brighton conference.

But an insider told PF in advance of Miliband's speech that there was no prospect of the government giving in to campaigners' demands.

The source said the minister would tell delegates that the government's multibillion pound housing programme could not alone fund the building of muchneeded social housing and the work to meet the 2010 decent homes standard.

Demands for a fourth option in housing finance, which would allow authorities to fund improvements to their housing stock while retaining ownership, have grown as a significant number of councils still have no strategy for meeting the target.

High-profile cases such as the London Borough of Camden, where all the options have either been vetoed by ministers or rejected by residents, have bolstered calls for direct investment from local government leaders and campaigners. …

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