Dismay over housing money

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A BID for £23 million of government funding to help complete Sheffield’s Decent Homes council housing modernisation programme has been rejected.

Sheffield Council applied for the cash from a £1.6 billion pot of housing funding available nationally, to pay for work on remaining properties.

But the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency rejected the city’s bid because it had alternative funding available within its budget.

Opposition Labour housing spokesman Coun Chris Weldon said: “It is shocking the Government has given Sheffield nothing from this £1.6 billion fund.

“A lot has been achieved with the Decent Homes programme in Sheffield but there is still more work to do to bring every home up to a good standard.

“Securing this funding would have helped to achieve this.”

Coun Penny Baker, Sheffield Council’s Lib Dem cabinet member for housing, said: “We are obviously disappointed not to have received this money, but the Homes and Communities Agency has judged that Sheffield has already made excellent progress in achieving Decent Homes.

“This will make no difference to council tenants, as all the work will be completed anyway.”