HC Deb 26 April 1972 vol 835 cc1515-7
4. Mr. Rost

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he is considering further help for the provision of mortgage finance to sitting tenants in local authority housing and those on waiting lists who wish to become home owners but whose income excludes them from obtaining building society mortgages.

The Minister for Housing and Construction (Mr. Julian Amery)

Local authorities are already free to take mortgage loans of up to 100 per cent. of valuation to their sitting tenants and people reasonably high on their waiting lists.

Mr. Rost

While I accept that the Government have made mortgage finance more readily available, and that interest rates are now lower than they were under the previous Government, would my right hon. Friend agree that there is a good case for advising local authorities to adopt the type of scheme that has been adopted in Luton to make mortgage finance more readily available for those on low incomes?

Mr. Amery

I agree with my hon. Friend. I have already approved schemes prepared by the boroughs of Hillingdon and Newham and I am greatly encouraged by and attracted to proposals coming up in Luton, Brighton and elsewhere which have as their aim the purpose which both the Government and my hon. Friend are anxious to secure.

Mr. Edwin Wainwright

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider helping local authorities which want to build houses for sale as well as for letting, thus providing homes for owner-occupation among the younger generation at a lower price than is presently obtainable?

Mr. Amery

As a broad matter of principle I agree with Lord Greenwood that the building of houses for sale is usually best left to developers. I have no ideological objection to councils building for sale where builders or developers are not prepared to come in and do the job.

Mr. Arthur Jones

Would my right hon. Friend consider whether local authorities could grant second mortgages, secured after a building society's interest in a property?

Mr. Amery

Yes, I will certainly consider that.

Mr. Skinner

Has the right hon. Gentleman any ideological objections to giant industrial combines granting mortgage finance to people working in such com bines on the basis that it may well lead to another development in the tied cottage system?

Mr. Amery

I have no ideological objections, but I should like time to study the practical implications of the hon. Gentleman's question.