HC Deb 09 July 1957 vol 573 cc171-2
4. Mr. G. Jeger

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he is aware that the Goole Town Council has over 1,000 applications for houses, that it has ceased the building of houses except for slum clearance, and that last year only 25 council houses fell vacant; and whether he will take appropriate action, under Section 5 of the Housing Subsidies Act, 1956, to ensure that the normal housing needs of small towns are met.

Mr. H. Brooke

It is for the council to decide how many houses it will build and for what purposes, and to make application to me if it thinks it has a case for additional help under Section 5 of the Housing Subsidies Act, 1956. Goole has not applied.

Mr. Jeger

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Goole is still wondering what has hit it as a result of the Government's housing policy? Can he offer no hope whatever to the 1,000 applicants on the waiting list for council houses in Goole, and have I his authority to tell them that he can do nothing for them?

Mr. Brooke

No, Sir. It lies entirely with the Goole Council to decide how many houses it will build. I am placing no restriction on it.

Mr. Lindgren

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that, with present interest rates and no subsidies, a net rent, without rates, of 52s. 6d. to 54s. weekly makes it impossible for local authorities to build for general needs?

Mr. Brooke

Most local authorities are wise enough to adopt some kind of differential rents scheme or some other arrangement whereby they save money by not excessively subsidising existing tenants, and are thus able to reduce the rents for new houses.