Mr. T. THOMSON:43.
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the Middlesbrough Housing Committee has received 3,952 applications for houses; that it has so far only supplied 597 dwellings in flats, huts, and houses; that it only has his sanction for a further 305 houses, all in course of erection, leaving 3,355 applicants without any chance of satisfaction; and, in view of the fact that this is also the experience of many other industrial towns, will he state what further steps he proposes to take to meet the demand of such industrial areas for houses in excess of those provided by his 168,000 houses?
I am aware of the housing provision which has already been made at Middlesbrough and of the amount of work at present in hand. Authority was given at the beginning of the month to the council obtaining lenders for an additional 30 houses, and in present circumstances I cannot see my way to increase this number. I may observe that, on the basis of the rents at present proposed to be charged, it is estimated that there will be a deficit on the Middlesbrough housing scheme of something like £50,000 a year, against which the produce of the district's penny rate is only £1,950.