HC Deb 19 February 1952 vol 496 cc21-2
25. Mr. J. K. Vaughan-Morgan

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he will authorise a special additional allocation of building licences to local authorities to meet the needs of self-help building groups registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act, 1893, and who are affiliated to the National Federation of Housing Societies.

35 Mr. Patrick Maitland

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government (1) whether his attention has been called to a widespread movement among housing associations to encourage self-help groups of amateurs to build their own houses with their own spare-time labour; and whether he will encourage local authorities to issue licences in such cases;

(2) whether he will make housing allocations available to local authorities irrespective of the rate of completions where this would enable them to issue licences to self-help spare-time builders; and

(3) if he has considered the claims made to him that individuals using their own spare-time labour can build houses for themselves for less than £1,000; and what steps he proposes to make the fullest use of this source of labour.

Mr. H. Macmillan

I should like to show my appreciation of the initiative of any self-help group which could satisfy the local authority that its members had the will and the resources to complete the building of a small number of houses quickly. It would be for the local authority to decide how many houses could suitably be authorised at any one time. Local authorities know that in general the more houses that are built in their area the more will be authorised.

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

Will my right hon. Friend consider circularising local authorities urging them to give every encouragement and assistance to these building groups?

Mr. Macmillan

Yes, Sir; I hope my hon. Friend's Question will help to give that publicity.

Mr. Maitland

Will my right hon. Friend take every possible step to make known the desirability of creating these housing associations in all parts of the country in order to advance the work my right hon. Friend has welcomed.

Mr. Macmillan

Yes, Sir.

Mr. C. W. Gibson

How does the Minister propose to ensure that any houses which may be built under these schemes are at least up to the standards suggested by the Housing Registration Council, and what machinery does the right hon. Gentleman propose to use to ensure that?

Mr. Macmillan

I see the importance of that, but I think that local authorities and my regional officers will be able to look after the matter.