Voluntary Housing Movement

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th June 1971.

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Photo of Mrs Peggy Fenner Mrs Peggy Fenner , Rochester and Chatham 12:00 am, 16th June 1971

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment, what conclusions he has reached following his Department's review of the voluntary housing movement; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Peter Walker Mr Peter Walker , Worcester

The report on housing associations was published as a contribution to public discussion on the future of voluntary housing. I wish to hear the views of associations and others concerned before coming to any final conclusions.

Photo of Mrs Peggy Fenner Mrs Peggy Fenner , Rochester and Chatham

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. May I ask him whether his Department's review will take into consideration a matter which is causing grave concern to housing associations; namely, the high interest rates for borrowing money? Is there any hope that housing associations will find themselves better placed in that respect in the near future?

Photo of Mr Peter Walker Mr Peter Walker , Worcester

In the preparation of his paper on housing finance my right hon. Friend is looking at the whole problem of the financing of housing associations.

Photo of Mr Peter Trew Mr Peter Trew , Dartford

Would my right hon. Friend agree that if housing associations are to make a substantial contribution to relieving homelessness in great conurbations, there may be a case for local authorities making land available to them at something below the cost of acquisition and demolition? Has my right hon. Friend made a study of how that might be done, and, if so, has he come to any conclusions?

Photo of Mr Peter Walker Mr Peter Walker , Worcester

That is one of the many aspects that we are considering in the preparation of our White Paper.