HC Deb 18 July 1963 vol 681 cc717-8
35. Mr. Pavitt

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs how much money has been given to date from the £25 million designated for loans to housing associations.

Sir K. Joseph

By 17th July, advances of £711,330 had been made towards the cost of schemes for which the total Exchequer commitment will be about £9,200,000.

Mr. Pavitt

Is the Minister aware that these amounts are inadequate in the circumstances and that we want them increased? Will he consider making available cheaper interest rates on this particular form of loan for a borough like Willesden where there are 209 families each unable to live together under one roof because of lack of housing and 390 families overcrowded according to the statutory standard? Does he realise that we would welcome the co-operative approach of a housing association in order to cope with the problem but cannot go ahead because of the high interest rates at present prevailing?

Sir K. Joseph

I do not think that the hon. Gentleman will find that either the present scheme or any future scheme will break down on the interest rates. I must disagree with his view, because the rate of acceleration in the use of the £25 million scheme has been very striking over the past 18 months.

Mr. MacColl

How much of the advances have been made in areas of severe housing need and how much in areas where substantial progress is already being made with housing apart from the associations?

Sir K. Joseph

That is another question, but my information is that most of it is for areas of high housing pressure.