The government has announced that it is expanding its council house improvement programme to cover bigger estate regeneration projects.

Outlining the future of the Decent Homes programme this week, the government said authorities would be expected to upgrade the environment of entire estates as well as the physical fabric of the buildings themselves.

This week's announcement also contained details of funding controls for high-performing social housing departments.

Authorities that have a good track record in managing their stock will be able to keep all of the rent that they receive instead of handing the money back to the government under the complicated subsidy system in force now. They will be able to invest this income in improvements to their stock.

The announcement will come as a big fillip for the north London borough of Camden, where two years ago tenants rejected plans to set up an arm's length management organisation to run their housing stock.