Mr. TREVELYAN THOMSON:23.
asked the Minister of Health the total cost of houses finished to date erected by local authorities under the Government's housing scheme and eligible for State assistance in excess of the local penny rate; the total number of houses so erected; and the average cost of the same?
The actual total cost of the 91,864 houses which had been finished on 1st March cannot yet be stated as most of these houses are included in contracts which have not yet been completed. As I stated in the Debate last week, the average all-in cost is estimated at £1,100.
The Housing (Additional Powers) Act, 1919, which authorised the grants to persons constructing houses in accordance with schemes made by the Minister, became law on the 23rd December, 1919. Houses commenced before that date are not eligible for the grant. Up to the present time grants have been paid in respect of 28,816 completed houses. According to the certificates received from local authorities, the number of houses commenced but not yet completed is 13,000.
asked the Minister of Health why it is that the housing subsidy for new houses has been discontinued as regards England and Wales, but has been retained in Scotland, and will be granted for new houses built in that country until the year 1924; and will he consider the continuance of the subsidy in the case of rural areas where it can be proved that there were exceptional difficulties in the preparation and advancement of housing schemes?
I have on numerous occasions given the quite definite assurance that where work is undertaken by local authorities in England and Wales with the approval of my Department, and for reasons outside the control of the authority, the work cannot be completed within the period fixed by the original Regulations, the time for completion will be extended as may be necessary.