Chancellor to seek boost for social housing

Measures to boost inward investment and help social housing tenants onto the property ladder were announced by chancellor Gordon Brown last week.

In his pre-budget statement, Brown said: "We will pilot mixed communities in deprived estates and provide further support for first-time buyers." The details of the scheme will come in the forthcoming ODPM five-year housing strategy.

The pilot is expected to feature a package of measures for areas where few people have exercised their right to buy. Options could include shared ownership and incentives to buy.

Brown also announced that an industry-led science forum will be established.

He pledged that the three northern regional development agencies will promote science cities, starting with Manchester, Newcastle and York.

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