HC Deb 13 December 1962 vol 669 cc547-8
2. Mr. J. H. Osborn

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he is aware that the high cost of repairs associated with improvements is preventing many landlords and owner-occupiers from taking full advantage of the home improvement grants; and whether he will take powers to give assistance to provide long term loans for these repairs.

Sir K. Joseph

Local authorities already have adequate powers to make loans for this purpose.

Mr. Osborn

While I welcome the visit of the Parliamentary Secretary to Sheffield, may I ask whether my right hon. Friend is aware that one of the obstacles to Sheffield taking full advantage of the scheme in the exhibition is that the money is not readily available?

Sir K. Joseph

I was not so aware; I had hoped that through one means or another the necessary money would be available. I will make inquiries.

Mr. Frank Allaun

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that although many councils make loans for old houses, they are being severely hindered by the high interest rates which they have to pay and consequently have to charge? Will he seriously consider cheap loans for this purpose?

Sir K. Joseph

I cannot give the hon. Member any satisfaction on this, because local authorities have to pay the going rate in order to raise the money.