HC Deb 22 June 1921 vol 143 cc1348-9

asked the Minister of Health how many houses have been built under his various schemes by direct labour, by building guilds, and by ordinary contractors, and the respective costs of similar types of house under each of the three systems of construction?


On the 1st June 35,066 houses had been completed for local authorities by ordinary contractors, 1,550 by direct labour, and 58 by building guilds. Complete costs of all these houses have not yet been returned, and until these are ascertained no real comparison can be made. The final building costs of parlour houses built by contractors so far as particulars are available range from £875 to £1,090. No final costs have yet been obtained in the case of schemes carried out by direct labour or the building guilds, but so far as an estimate can be made from an analysis of the costs at present ascertained they vary in the case of direct labour schemes from £797 to £1,266, and in the case of building guild schemes from £908 to £985.


Can the right hon. Gentleman not give me the comparative costs of similar types of houses? He has quoted some very voluminous figures, but they do not touch the real point of the question—"the comparative cost of similar types."


I am afraid I cannot add to the answer I have given, which is an endeavour to cover the question. It is not easy to get accurate figures, seeing that sites, conditions, and materials all vary so much in regard to cost, although used for the same type of houses.