HC Deb 24 May 1966 vol 729 c248
7. Mr. Winnick

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he will encourage local housing authorities with lengthy waiting lists to purchase properties which are for sale and which could easily be converted for council accommodation; and whether he will seek power to enable him to give financial help in acquiring such properties.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (Mr. Robert Mellish)

My right hon. Friend is very willing to consider loan sanction approval for the purchase of such properties in appropriate cases. Improvement grants are available to local authorities for any necessary modernisation.

Mr. Winnick

Would not my hon. Friend agree that in some circumstances local councils should be helped by some kind of housing subsidy if these acquired properties are going to the general housing pool? Would not my hon. Friend further agree that there are some councils—Tory councils—which seem to have a political doctrinaire objection to acquiring property for the general housing pool?

Mr. Mellish

A subsidy for properties of this kind would require legislation, and this is certainly not contemplated at this moment of time. As far as I am aware, all progressive councils which wish to acquire this sort of property can take advantage of the present legislation.