Housing market renewal (HMR) minister Iain Wright has poured cold water on rumours that the government was intending to pull funding for almost half of the controversial Pathfinder projects.
Last week, the leaders of four of the nine Pathfinder programmes – charged with the overhaul of swathes of low-quality housing in the Midlands and the North of England – were thrown into panic after the Department for Communities and Local Government accidentally announced massive cuts.
However, speaking at a housing market renewal conference in Sheffield on Thursday, parliamentary under-secretary Wright (pictured) assured HMRI chiefs that the government was still backing the programme and promised further cash to see the individual projects through to 2011.
Wright said: ‘We remain completely committed to the housing market renewal programme.
‘And I am delighted to announce today that we expect to allocate around £1 billion to the programme over the three years 2008-2011.’
All eyes are now on how that money will be split between the separate Pathfinder areas – but a date for this has yet to be set.