HC Deb 17 November 1919 vol 121 cc622-3

asked the Minister of Health the number of houses which are at present being built under the last Housing Act in the Metropolitan area, in urban areas, and in rural districts; what is the average rent in each district; if he will give the number of local authorities who are applying the Act and what relative progress they have made in the erection of houses; and if he will also say what action he proposes to take against authorities who are ignoring the Act or refusing to apply it?


The number of houses included in contracts on which work has actually been begun up to 1st November was 682 in the Metropolitan area, and approximately 4,700 in the rest of England and Wales. I will send the hon. Member a copy of the monthly White Paper, which contains full information of the progress made by the various local authorities. The latest Return shows that 1,270 local authorities have submitted definite proposals. The number of houses which have been completed is insufficient to enable me to give any useful figures as to the average rents. The Housing Act received the Royal assent on the 31st July last, and under the Act local authorities were given three months within which to submit their schemes. This period of three months expired on the 31st of October, and I propose to enforce the measures prescribed by the Act in the case of those local authorities which are in default. I should like to add that on respect of information sought for on Thursday, and which I regret was not given the number of houses which have been completed ready for occupation is 124.


Is it not the fact that not a single house will be completed in the County of London before the end of the year?


If my hon. Friend means that no houses have been erected in London, I think that is correct, but several conversions have been completed and are in occupation.


Is the delay not directly due to profiteering in materials?


The hon. Member should give notice of that question.

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