HC Deb 04 December 1974 vol 882 cc1538-9
9. Mr. McNamara

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what reaction he has had from housing committees and others to his suggestion that the provision of prefabricated factory-built houses should be used as a speedy method for meeting the housing shortage.

Mr. Kaufman

What my right hon. Friend announced on 30th October was a review by the Department of possible ways of getting more accommodation provided more quickly and more cheaply. The review will include consideration of all kinds of accommodation. There is no commitment whatever to the use of any particular form.

Mr. McNamara

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that reply. When he talks to local authority housing committees, will he point out not only that it would be useful to erect such houses but that useful in-filling could be done? We must try to get rid of the situation in which frightened pensioners are living in deserted slum clearance terraces, waiting for suitable pensioners' accommodation, as well as releasing a great number of three-bedroom council houses in which pensioners are living, but which they cannot look after, when no alternative accommodation has been supplied by the local authority.

Mr. Kaufman

My hon. Friend's wise words stem from a deep constituency knowledge of the people living in stress conditions, and we shall certainly bear in mind what he says.

Mr. Michael Marshall

Will the hon. Gentleman ask his right hon. Friend to reconsider the suggestion that I put to the Minister that the whole of the way in which allowances are paid to local authorities should be reviewed with the question of mobile homes in mind?

Mr. Kaufman

The question of finance and central Government subsidy to local authorities must be a factor in the review that we are conducting.

Mr. Greville Janner

Will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind the need to provide such homes for those who are left behind in road building schemes that are delayed, such as the West Bridge scheme in Leicester?

Mr. Kaufman

The hon. and learned Gentleman refers to yet another topic that is causing great concern. The question of people living in areas that have been blighted as a result of road programmes which are in doubt is a problem which must be considered by my Department.

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