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Welfare Reform on the Web (September 2008): Community regeneration and development - UK

Housing market renewal: pathfinders

Committee of Public Accounts

London: TSO, 2008 (House of Commons papers, session 2007/08; HC106)

The Housing Market Renewal Programme aims to tackle the problems of neighbourhoods with acute low housing demand in the Midlands and North of England. In such areas, high concentrations of difficult to let or sell properties, loss of population and inability to attract new households had created neighbourhood decline and deprivation. Launched in 2002 in nine pathfinder areas, the Programme aims to improve the quality of the physical infrastructure of the neighbourhoods concerned. So far, over 40,000 homes have been refurbished. The programme also aims to acquire and demolish homes and replace them with newly built dwellings. However, so far more homes have been demolished than built, and without longer term support demolition sites, rather than improved housing stock, may be the Programme's legacy. In some areas, communities have opposed plans to demolish and rebuild housing. In many areas, pathfinders aim to rebalance the mix of tenure, attract higher income groups and develop more sustainable communities, with the risk that existing residents will be priced out of the market.

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