HC Deb 22 April 1970 vol 800 cc411-2
25. Mr. Adam Hunter

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many housing authorities in Scotland at present do not make mortgage advances; and if he will take steps to encourage them to do so.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

The councils of five counties, three large burghs and 101 small burghs have made no mortgage advances in recent years. A circular has been sent to all housing authorities drawing their attention to the recently-announced increase in the amount available for this purpose in 1970–71.

Mr. Hunter

Would not my hon. Friend agree that every reasonable opportunity should be taken to encourage private house ownership? Will the recent reductions in Bank Rate enable local authorities to improve and make more attractive the mortgage advance scheme?

Dr. Mabon

I certainly agree with both points. Unfortunately, some of the authorities concerned have not reacted as well as we would like them to. Perhaps the hon. Member for Moray and Nairn (Mr. Gordon Campbell) would agree to speak to Nairn on this matter, and to some of his small burghs which are delinquent, and the hon. Member for Hamilton (Mrs. Ewing) may speak to Stirling burgh, where the Nationalists are in control.

Mr. David Steel

Is the Minister of State aware that I am very pleased to hear that he is taking steps to encourage local authorities to make use of mortgage facilities? Will he also take steps to encourage them to make generous loan agreements with housing associations which need close co-operation with local authorities?

Dr. Mabon

I agree with that. In the general review of housing finance which we are conducting, we want to take into account experience on housing associations, particularly of co-ownership schemes.

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