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asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he is aware of the concern of local authorities at the high rates of repayment now being asked for loans for house building; what steps have been taken to ascertain the effect this will have on the building of council houses when present contracts have been completed; and what are the prospects for the future.
Mr. H. Wilson:
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he is aware of the decision of the Middlesex County Council to suspend the granting of loans for house-purchase, even where tenants have had to leave rented property; and, in so far as this and similar decisions by other local authorities are due to the recent increase in the Bank Rate, what action he proposes to take in the matter.
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he is aware that a number of local authorities have suspended home mortgage advances since the increase in the Bank Rate to 7 per cent.; and what action he proposes to enable them to resume these functions so as to assist those who are compelled to purchase their homes because of the decontrol provisions of the Rent Act, 1957.
I think a number of the local authorities might reconsider the matter after my statement last week that I should be ready to consider new or revised schemes which provided for varying the rates of interest to borrowers.
Does not the Minister realise the real dilemma of local authorities who either have to refuse loans to people who are threatened with eviction under the Rent Act, or, if they make advances, land themselves in great financial difficulty and face the fact that they are hanging a millstone of high interest rates round the necks of the people who are forced to borrow or else find themselves homeless?