Orders of the Day — Housing and Building Control Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:02 pm on 5th July 1983.

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Photo of Mr John Fraser Mr John Fraser , Norwood 9:02 pm, 5th July 1983

I do not take the hon. Gentleman's narrow, simplistic and superficial view that selling off council houses but not flats, as occurs in practice, will solve the problem. We must reflect far more carefully on these matters and consider the total housing stock and the make-up of our housing estates, especially in inner city areas. Otherwise, there will be two nations in housing. Three quarters of householders will be owner-occupiers, reasonably well housed, mainly in houses, and receiving massive housing subsidies — well over £2 billion per year. Those people will be generally content with their tenure and they will be sitting—I do not blame them—on many billions of pounds worth of accumulated property values and untaxable capital gains. The other quarter will live largely in local authority flats. On the whole, they will be poorer, but they will be paying higher rents net of housing benefit and between them they will not have one accumulated pound's worth of property values. That is what I mean by two nations in housing.