HC Deb 05 May 1970 vol 801 cc177-8
9. Mr. Rossi

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he is satisfied that the amount of money available to the voluntary housing movement is adequate to meet the programmes which they require to undertake; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Greenwood

The output of new dwellings by housing associations has increased and is likely to go on increasing. Starts in 1969 were 18 per cent. higher than in 1968. Housing associations are also playing an increasing role in the improvement and conversion of older houses, and are benefiting from the increased provisions made in the Housing Act, 1969.

Mr. Rossi

Would not the Minister agree that the voluntary housing movement has a tremendously valuable part to play in the housing of this country and that it needs even greater help than it has received from the Government? Would he be prepared to offer that help?

Mr. Greenwood

I think that the voluntary housing movement would be the first to admit that it has received more positive and generous help from this Government than from our predecessors. I am glad that the hon. Member referred to the importance of the movement. The important thing is that the houses it builds should be in addition to those supplied by local authorities, not instead of them.

Mr. John Fraser

Would my right hon. Friend agree that the Housing Corporation would be able to do even more if it could have a pool of borrowing from building societies instead of having to get one building society to link up with each housing association scheme?

Mr. Greenwood

We are examining the suggestion my hon. Friend has made. He will welcome the fact that in March we made available an additional £10 million to the Housing Corporation which should enable it to meet half the cost of new dwellings instead of simply a third.