HC Deb 24 May 1922 vol 154 cc1176-7

asked the Minister of Health whether it is now the Government's settled policy to refuse all further financial assistance to local authorities who desire to provide houses in excess of the 176,000 already promised under the Housing Act of 1919 and, if not, how much lower have building costs to fall before the Government will sanction further building operations under the Housing Act of 1919?

33. Mr. HALLS

asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the fact that costs of building are now clown so low that contracts are being accepted for building houses as low as between three and four hundred pounds per house, and also the fact that the number of building trades' operatives out of work is rapidly increasing, he will now sanction further schemes for building the much needed houses, and thus ensure that no less number of houses will be built because the Government called a halt last year?


Local authorities have been guaranteed against excessive loss at a heavy cost to the taxpayer during the whole period of high prices, and I think that where they consider it desirable to undertake further building they may not unreasonably be asked to do so on their own responsibility. It is not proposed to make any departure from the policy which I announced last Session as to the limitation of the number of houses to be built under the State-assisted scheme.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the local authorities are very anxious to know what is the settled policy of the Government, and will he be good enough to reply in the first part of the question, as to whether the Government are going to sanction any further houses beyond the 176,000 under the Act of 1919?


I have repeatedly stated the Government policy is not to sanction any further new houses under the present scheme of State assistance.


Will the right hon. Gentleman state for the information of local authorities what proportion of the value of a contract they can borrow and what will be the rate of interest?


I do not quite follow the hon. Member's question. Perhaps he will put it down.


As the right hon. Gentleman will not proceed with the State scheme, can he inform local authorities what proportion of the amount of a contract for housing can be borrowed and at what rate of interest?


That question should be put down.

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