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Housing spend falls short

THE Housing Corporation is in danger of underspending its London construction budget because housing associations have been reluctant to ask for funds.

The corporation said that at the end of December 37 per cent of the regions programme had still to be taken up 10 per cent more than expected.

Housing associations have only until March 7 to claim the unspent money or it will be lost.

The major area of underspending is the rented programme, for which there is still 66 million of the allocated budget to be taken up. Most of this money would go on new building. There is also 17 million of the major repairs programme still outstanding.

A Housing Corporation spokeswoman described the London situation as typical of a regional blip.