§ 38. Mr. ROBERT RICHARDSON
asked the Minister of Health whether he has received and considered a suggestion that local authorities should be encouraged to purchase land for housing purposes; that each plot might be offered free or for a nominal rent to any person, other than a speculative builder, for the purpose of building a house thereon; that the plot should remain the property of the local authority and not be transferable, and that each person given the offer of a plot should undertake to build 2297 a house within a certain time limit or forfeit the use of the land; and whether any action has or can be taken to promote house building on such lines?
I have received from time to time suggestions on the lines indicated. I see no particular advantage in the suggestion of a reduction of ground rent, which is not in fact contemplated in the Housing Bill now before Parliament. A local authority can, however, purchase land and after development lease the plots to persons intending to build houses thereon and, subject to such conditions as may be laid down, assistance may be given to the intending occupier in the shape of a lump sum contribution to the cost of the house. Further assistance by way of loan may be given under Clause 5 of the Bill.