Millions given to trapped families

Housing minister Grant Shapps has announced that locally-led schemes aimed to deliver long term financially sound solutions to help people trapped in the worst part of abandoned streets.

The Housing Market Renewal programme, launched in 2002, created large scale targets for demolition clearance and the construction of new homes. Over time many of these schemes did not secure the public or private investment necessary, which ministers argue resulted in blighted areas where large scale demolition and clearance projects were stopped in their tracks, often leaving isolated residents living in just a few homes in otherwise derelict areas.

Ministers believe the most acute problems are in five Housing Market Renewal areas – Merseyside, East Lancashire, North Staffordshire, Hull and Teesside. There are areas where the lowest quartile house prices in the renewal areas have remained well below the regional average and where surrounding housing markets are weak.

Local authorities in these areas are being asked to develop proposals that will help abandoned families and allow the local leaders to get regeneration back on track. £30m Government funding will be available to support initiatives.

Grant Shapps, housing minister in government, said: "Despite the best efforts of local communities, the previous centrally controlled programme of large scale housing demolition hasn't worked. It pitched neighbour against neighbour and in some cases trapped families in abandoned streets.

"This Coalition Government is committed to helping vulnerable people and will not stand by when residents are stranded in derelict neighbourhoods through no fault of their own. That is why today I am announcing a £30 million lifeline for these isolated families whose lives have been blighted by failed schemes.

"Regeneration only works when it has the support of local communities. So I look forward to receiving innovative and financially sound proposals, backed by local people that will finally transform the lives of people in these communities."