HC Deb 02 June 1938 vol 336 cc2225-6
52 Mr. Craven-Ellis

asked the Minister of Health how many of the 176,466 houses involved in slum clearance orders have been acquired and demolished by local authorities; what has been the cost of acquiring these properties; how many owners are concerned and what is the total sum paid to them; and what is the net building area of the land acquired?

Mr. Elliot

Of the houses referred to 57,528 were to be demolished, after acquisition, by the local authorities and the remainder by the owners. By the end of 1937 about 104,000 of them had been demolished. The other particulars asked for by my hon. Friend are not available.

Mr. Craven-Ellis

Have these properties been acquired on a market value based on rental income, and if not, on what basis have they been acquired?

Mrs. Tate

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in many areas local authorities are destroying houses, on the ground that they are unfit for habitation, which could, with the expenditure of a small sum, be made very desirable, and that this is causing intense suffering to very humble people who have no other means at their disposal?

Mr. Elliot

With regard to the first supplementary question, I am afraid I must ask my hon. Friend to put it on the Paper, and with regard to the second, the House recently passed provisions by means of which reconditioning grants could be given. I hope that advantage will be taken of those provisions.

Mrs. Tate

Will my right hon. Friend notify the local authorities and urge upon them the desirability of using these reconditioning powers more frequently?

Mr. McGovern

Is it not the old story of the poor widow who has lost her rent?

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