HC Deb 19 June 1956 vol 554 cc1224-5
39. Mr. Collins

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will draw the attention of rural authorities to the fact that dismantled prefabricated houses can be purchased at low cost, and give such authorities assistance and advice in utilising such prefabricated houses, under suitable conditions, in the provision of permanent houses.

Mr. Sandys

I have not received proposals from any local authorities to buy and re-erect dismantled prefabricated houses in their areas.

Mr. Collins

Is the Minister aware that most dismantled "prefabs" are exported, because, out of the 2,000 inquiries from home buyers which arise every year, there are very few sales owing to difficulties of planning and other difficulties? Will he not, therefore, use his efforts, in view of the impending standstill of local authority building apart from slum clearance, to ensure that these dwellings are used to the best advantage for people at home who need houses?

Mr. Sandys

I cannot at all accept the hon. Member's suggestion that there is a standstill in local authority building apart from slum clearance. Leaving that controversial party point aside, may I say that most of these temporary houses are, of course, still structurally sound, but they are on the small side for normal family life. On the other hand, I think that they might be very useful for the housing of old people, and I propose to look into this as part of the review which I am now conducting into the whole problem of the housing of elderly people.