HC Deb 06 June 1946 vol 423 cc2146-7
36. Lieut.-Commander Joynson-Hicks

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the effect of regulations recently made by him is to suspend indefinitely the long term plans for the repair and modernisation of numerous workers' houses in West Sussex; and what steps he proposes to take to prevent the consequence of houses becoming uninhabitable and the housing shortage in rural areas being accentuated.

Mr. Key

My right hon. Friend is afraid that with the present shortage of building materials and components, priority must be given to the building of new houses and there will inevitably be less available for the improvement of existing dwellings. Special arrangements have been made to ensure that materials can be obtained, where required, to comply with a statutory notice, or to avoid risk to health, or danger to the structure.

Lieut.-Commander Joynson-Hicks

Does the Minister appreciate that houses are falling into an uninhabitable condition? Will he not consider the advisability of preventing them becoming uninhabitable as a quicker expedient than building new houses?

Mr. Key

As soon as materials are in such supply as to make it possible to allocate them for repair, that will be done, but we regard the use of materials for building new houses as having the priority claim.