Does this make sense to you? Over 5,000 houses are set to be demolished under a programme that was supposed to be for re-housing people.
The programme is the Housing Market Renewal(HMR)Transition Fund. The guidance for the fund (down load avaialble here) said “ It is intended to fund acquisition of homes/ relocation of individuals (with some funding for linked costs eg. relocation expenses) and at the margins some site security or clearance costs.”
Launching the fund, and commenting on the predecessor HMR programme that he had wound up Housing Minister Grant Shapps said “There was widespread public controversy over anobsession with demolition over refurbishment, the lack of transparency of thePathfinder quangos, large profits by developers, the demolition of our nation’sVictorian heritage and perverse incentives being given to run downneighbourhoods.
He added that councils "should not be pursuing large-scale demolition"
And yet that is exactly what councils are doing. Information obtained by Empty Homes under the Freedom of Information Act shows that councils have been awarded funding for demolishing 5,125 homes and renovating just 113.
In our view this is in itself a scandalous waste. Many of these homes could be brought back into use, and the £70m of public funding that is being poured into this exercise could have paid for renovation instead.
What on earth is going on? Despite the guidance, and despite what ministers have said, councils seem to have got a completely different idea. A source at Hull City Council told Inside Housing “It could not have been made any clearer: this(transition fund) was intended for demolitions.”
Made clearer by whom? According to Inside Housing "Grant Shapps is understood to be concerned by the move, and has ordered a review of how the funding is being spent."