HC Deb 02 May 1929 vol 227 cc1698-9

asked the Minister of Health if his attention has been called to the rents charged for houses in the South Shields rural area; and whether, as the rents are beyond the ability of the occupiers to pay without hardship to the feeding and clothing of these people, he will inquire into the matter with a view to a reduction of the rents?


Proposals have been made by the South Shields Rural District Council for the reduction of the rents of houses erected under the Assisted Housing Scheme under the Act of 1919. After careful inquiry I have concurred in the proposal in the case of the houses at Boldon Colliery, but I am advised that there is no sufficient ground for approving a similar reduction at Whitburn.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the people who reside at Boldon are in practically the same position as those at Whitburn, and that their wages will not permit them to pay the rents that they paid in 1919, when their wages were higher? To-day their wages are one-third of what they were in 1919, and they cannot afford to pay the rents. The council would lower the rents if the right hon. Gentleman gave sanction. Will the right hon. Gentleman take the matter into further consideration?


I am advised that the conditions are different in the two places. Whereas in the case of Boldon Colliery practically the whole of the people are miners, that is not the case in the Whitburn district, and there is no difficulty in getting the present rents.


Have there been reductions in other cases similar to this?


No, Sir.