§ 36. Mr. Willey
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what steps he will take by grant or otherwise to facilitate the construction of houses and to expedite slum clearance in the County Borough of Sunderland.
§ Mr. H. Brooke
In common with all other housing authorities, Sunderland County Borough Council is entitled to the slum clearance subsidy of £22 1s. per house, payable for sixty years. The council has a planned programme of slum clearance, and I have taken this into account in considering the number of houses that can be put into contract this year. I am proposing to review the position later in the year.
§ Mr. Willey
While the last few words of the Minister's statement are hopeful, does he appreciate that we have some of the worst slums in the country and that the local authority is convinced that it can build at least 1,000 houses, yet the Minister is giving it consent to build only 750?
§ Mr. Brooke
I appreciate that Sunderland has a slum clearance problem, but I should like to get the figures right. I 214 have approved that the authority should start 882 houses in 1958, in addition to those which had been approved earlier but which had not yet been started. The authority should therefore be able to start this year about as many as it has done in the last four years, and I have assured the hon. Member that later in the year I will look at the matter again.