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Housing estate ‘turnaround’ pledged by David Cameron

33Plans to demolish and rebuild some of England’s worst council estates are to be unveiled by the prime minister.
David Cameron told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that demolishing the estates “where people can feel trapped in poverty” could result in “better houses and more houses” being built.
The initiative will be headed by Lord Heseltine, who oversaw regeneration in Liverpool and London in the 1980s.
Labour says a bigger scheme with more investment is required.
Details of the plans will be set out in a keynote speech by Mr Cameron on Monday.
He is also due to announce the doubling of government funding for relationship counselling for troubled families and relaunch a coalition proposal to issue vouchers for parenting classes.

Mr Cameron told the BBC: “I think sink housing estates, many built after the war, where people can feel trapped in poverty, unable to get on a build a good life for themselves, I think it is time with government money – but with massive private sector and perhaps pension sector help – to demolish the worst of these and actually rebuild houses that people feel they can have a real future in.”
He said the “odd thing” about some of the high rise blocks was “they don’t provide a huge number of houses”.
There should be both affordable housing for rent and to buy, Mr Cameron said, but “a shift towards more affordable housing to buy” was needed.
Writing in the Sunday Times, Mr Cameron said “brutal high-rise towers” and “dark alleyways” in the worst estates “were a gift to criminals and drug dealers”.
Mr Cameron said 100 housing estates would be improved with the plan.
He cited analysis which suggests almost three-quarters of people involved in the riots in England in 2011 came from such estates.
32Although no estates have yet been identified, a total of £140m will be made available to help community groups, councils and housing associations with planning and early construction costs.
A panel to be chaired by Lord Heseltine will report on how investment from bodies like pension funds might be unlocked and draw up a list of sites that could benefit from regeneration.
It will also consider how to get past blockages in the planning process.
Outlining his plans to transform estates, Mr Cameron said: “For some, this will simply mean knocking them down and starting again. For others, it might mean changes to layout, upgrading facilities and improving local road and transport links.”
He said some of the “wasted” land on “poorly laid-out estates” could be used to build private homes.
Shadow housing minister John Healey said: “Any extra to help councils build new homes is welcome but Conservative ministers have halved housing investment since 2010 and are doing too little to deal with the country’s housing pressures.
“People simply won’t see this small-scale scheme stretched over 100 estates making much difference to the housing problems in their area.”

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