Damp Housing

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9th June 1993.

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Photo of Mr Jimmy Dunnachie Mr Jimmy Dunnachie , Glasgow Pollok 12:00 am, 9th June 1993

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what action he intends to take to measure and reduce the health risk to children of living in damp public sector housing.

Photo of Lord James Douglas-Hamilton Lord James Douglas-Hamilton , Edinburgh West

In preparing their next housing plans and housing capital programmes, due by the end of August, all local housing authorities have been asked to set out strategies and targets for tackling housing in their areas that is subject to condensation and dampness.

Photo of Mr Jimmy Dunnachie Mr Jimmy Dunnachie , Glasgow Pollok

I thank the Minister for that somewhat idiotic reply. We have had many surveys of housing in Scotland and yet nothing has been done to alleviate the suffering of the people of Scotland from damp housing, the high mortality rates of children who live in damp housing, and the schooling of kids in Scotland which is affected. All this, and all we get from the Minister is the same rubbish every time: £900 million for the whole of Scotland's housing. It is a disgrace that the hon. Gentleman, a Scotsman, should stand there and tell me that. Why does he not stand up and fight for the people of Scotland?

Photo of Lord James Douglas-Hamilton Lord James Douglas-Hamilton , Edinburgh West

The sum of £900 million is certainly not a disgrace. It is very substantial funding if it is properly applied. The hon. Member must realise that the targeting of resources where they are most needed is what is required. We have laid down condensation and dampness as one of the three strategic priorities that local authorities must put forward in their housing plans. The hon. Member must bear in mind that figures resulting from the preliminary findings of the national house conditions survey show that only 2 per cent. suffer from very severe problems of condensation and dampness, and that top priority should be given to resolving those problems as quickly as possible.