Elevate bids for extra HMR funds

Elevate East Lancashire, the housing organisation soon to be relaunched as Pennine Lancashire Development Company, is asking the Government for £5m more Housing Market Renewal funding after out-performing 2008-09 targets.

The Government's new Homes & Communities Agency announced in March that all the HMR pathfinders would receive just 90% of the allocations recommended a year earlier. For Elevate, this meant just under £45m. However, the HCA added that further resources up to the 100% budget were on offer if pathfinders could demonstrate good performance in a number of areas.

Elevate covers the council areas of Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle and Rossendale. The £51.96m HMR programme for the past year refurbished 909 homes, exceeding the target by 369; acquired 392 properties for redevelopment, exceeding the target by 112; and demolished 522 properties, many of them unfit, beating the target by 157.

Max Steinberg, chief executive of Elevate, said: "Since our inception in 2003, we have proved year after year that through working in partnership with local councils we can deliver real changes that will improve people's lives. We are assembling land for new housing to be built and restoring confidence in neighbourhoods through an ambitious programme of refurbishment. Neighbourhood management and environmental improvements are making neighbourhoods cleaner, safer and greener.

"But there is still a lot to do: the deep-rooted problems with our housing markets are quite different to many of the difficulties elsewhere in the country, and we need long term funding to rejuvenate the neighbourhoods that need it most.

"Pennine Lancashire needs the additional £5m funding, we have a track record of achievement and there is a clear case to maintain our momentum. We will be pulling out all the stops to secure that money."

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