§ 43. Mr. Collins
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he is aware that 146.000 families are registered with the London County Council as requiring accommodation in two-, three-, or four-roomed dwellings, but that only 1,720 such dwellings will become available to the waiting list during the next three years; and what special steps he intends to take to make a much larger number of dwellings available for the many thousands of families living in distressing circumstances.
§ Mr. H. Brooke
I understand that the number of households registered with the London County Council whom it regards as in urgent need of re-housing is 53,000. Many thousands of dwellings will become available to the Council during the next three years; but priority for them will be given to families now living in slums and to others who will be displaced by redevelopment. This means that the Council expects to be able to do comparatively little for general needs; its difficulty is shortage of land. The eight new towns round London are, however, now building at the rate of 10,000 houses a year, and I believe that an increasing contribution will be forthcoming from schemes under the Town Development Act.
§ Mr. Collins
Is the Minister aware that the figure of 1,720 dwellings available to the waiting list in the next three years is the L.C.C.'s official figure? In view of what he said about the lack of sites, is he further aware that no new town has been started in the last six years of Conservative Government? Will he not 957 guarantee loan facilities to the L.C.C. so that it can get on with starting a new town and thus relieve these terribly distressing circumstances in which tens of thousands of London families live?
§ Mr. Brooke
The hon. Gentleman asked three supplementaries. I have here the leaflet from which he obtained the figure of 1,720, but he must not think that that is the total number of L.C.C. lettings. As I have explained, the great majority of dwellings will go to slum clearance cases and the like. The new towns around London are not yet up to anything like their full figure, and building is still going on—and at a high rate. The L.C.C. application to me for another new town is now under examination.