Co-operative Housing

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 17th May 1995.

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Photo of Kate Hoey Kate Hoey , Vauxhall 2:30 pm, 17th May 1995

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what support he will give to ensure the increase of housing for co-operative ownership. [23200]

Photo of Mr Robert Jones Mr Robert Jones , Hertfordshire West

The Housing Corporation's grants to co-operative housing associations for construction, rehabilitation and repair this year amount to £9.514 million.

Photo of Kate Hoey Kate Hoey , Vauxhall

The Minister will be aware of the many successful housing co-ops in my constituency, especially in the Waterloo and Coin street area. However, is he also aware that there was no new allocation for housing co-ops in London this year and that there is a feeling, certainly within the Housing Corporation, that the Government's commitment to housing co-ops is perhaps not quite so strong as it was? What is the Department's commitment to housing co-ops?

Photo of Mr Robert Jones Mr Robert Jones , Hertfordshire West

Allocations by the Housing Corporation reflect the priorities that local authorities place on particular bids. There is little doubt that some place issues other than housing co-operatives higher up the priority list. The hon. Lady will be aware that that is sometimes because of hostility on the part of local authorities. She does not need to go back very far to remember the hostility of the Labour-controlled Greater London council to the Coin street co-operative in her area.

Photo of Mr David Congdon Mr David Congdon , Croydon North East

Does my hon. Friend agree that we should do everything we can to continue the extension of home ownership by whatever means possible, including the extension of shared ownership, the assisted private purchase scheme and, perhaps just as important, the extension of the right to buy to tenants of housing associations?

Photo of Mr Robert Jones Mr Robert Jones , Hertfordshire West

The Government remain deeply committed to the idea of sustainable home ownership. In addition to the various measures mentioned by my hon. Friend, we are always anxious to hear of new ideas for promoting home ownership from him or anyone who is interested.