Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Council Homes Funding Crisis

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Council Homes Funding Crisis

Article excerpt

Byline: By Peter Young

Housing bosses are battling to bridge a pounds 100m funding gap in a massive scheme to modernise thousands of council homes.

It follows a squeeze in Government spending and a collapse in tenants wanting to buy their houses following soaring property prices.

Members of the Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) board will now consider a savings package but managers say the aim is still to complete the programme for all tenants.

Another Government funding threat is looming which could delay work on several thousand homes beyond the target date of March 2011 and could even lead to job losses.

The original bid to the Government was for pounds 348m to help modernise 29,500 homes based on 2004 prices. The revised estimate is pounds 474m but the Department for Communities and Local Government awarded just pounds 346m.

Ministers are refusing to provide any extra cash to cover inflation. At the same time they are seeking 2% efficiency savings from local authorities. …

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