HC Deb 08 May 1962 vol 659 cc207-8
27. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs how many houses in Salford have received improvement grants since 25th November, 1961; and how many of these were made to owner-occupiers.

Mr. Rippon

Between 1st December, 1961, and 31st March, 1962, grants for the improvement of 87 private houses were approved, of which 10 were to owner-occupiers.

Mr. Allaun

Is not that a miserable response for a city in which five out of every ten houses have no baths? Is it not extraordinary that, despite the still more generous grants introduced for landlords in November, the figure, nationally, has actually declined since then? In view of the failure of financial inducements and publicity, how long will it be before the Minister uses the compulsory method which he said he did not rule out?

Mr. Rippon

At least, the hon. Gentleman cannot complain that in Salford too high a proportion of the grants have gone to owner-occupiers. We certainly want to see these improvement grants fully utilised. In the past three years, the numbers have risen from about 30,000 to 120,000 a year.