Housing Finance Review

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd November 1976.

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Photo of George Young George Young , Ealing Acton 12:00 am, 3rd November 1976

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to publish his Department's housing finance review.

Photo of Mr Peter Shore Mr Peter Shore , Tower Hamlets Stepney and Poplar

I hope that the review will be completed by the end of the year.

Photo of George Young George Young , Ealing Acton

Pending the much-delayed publication of the review, will the Secretary of State tell the House that the call at the Labour Party Conference for a total freeze on council house rents is totally unrealistic, given the economic crisis and the need to reduce indiscriminate subsidies?

Photo of Mr Peter Shore Mr Peter Shore , Tower Hamlets Stepney and Poplar

No doubt the hon. Gentleman follows my party conference as closely as I do. But I was there, and I do not recall any resolution calling for a total freeze on council house rents in the coming year. If there had been such a call, I would have said that it was not one which this Government could accept.

Photo of Mr Richard Wainwright Mr Richard Wainwright , Colne Valley

Will the Secretary of State undertake to seek comments from local authorities which have had successful experience in building houses for sale to people who might otherwise have sought council tenancies, with considerable financial benefits to capital and revenue accounts resulting from this policy?

Photo of Mr Peter Shore Mr Peter Shore , Tower Hamlets Stepney and Poplar

I have no objection at all to councils building houses for sale, but we have found that there are not very many councils which have so far operated this policy.