HC Deb 18 June 1968 vol 766 cc893-4
20. Sir B. Rhys Williams

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what number of dwellings he expects will be completed this year by cost/ rent housing societies and by co-ownership housing societies, respectively; and whether he anticipates any increase in 1969 in either category.

Mr. MacColl

Four thousand to 5,000 housing society dwellings should be completed in 1968, and a somewhat larger number next year. This year three-quarters or more of these are likely to be built by cost-rent societies, but many of the dwellings will probably be turned over to co-ownership on completion. My right hon. Friend hopes that next year the proportion of co-ownership dwellings will be preponderant.

Sir B. Rhys Williams

Can the Minister explain the relative failure of these projects? Is it due to suspicion or lack of familiarity on the part of the public, or is it because district valuers are unduly timid in making their assessments of the rents that might be obtained?

Mr. MacColl

My right hon. Friend has invited a sub-committee of the Central Housing Advisory Committee, under the chairmanship of Sir Karl Cohen, to look at the whole problem of housing associations and housing societies. We will await the report with great interest.

Mr. Peter M. Jackson

Will my hon. Friend reveal the limit which his right hon. Friend has placed on the cost of these units? I understand that special permission has to be given to a housing corporation for any project or unit in excess of £5,000 and that no such permission has been given to date? Will he review that?

Mr. MacColl

This involves the use of public money and my right hon. Friend is most anxious that it should be used to meet the need for moderate rents and not be used for anything in the nature of luxury buildings.