HC Deb 12 March 1981 vol 1000 cc995-6
10. Mr. Bradford

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the total allocation for housing associations in the Province and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, respectively, for the financial year 1981–82.

The Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Mr. David Mitchell)

To the nearest £1 million the proposed expenditure programmes for 1981–82 at outturn prices are as follows: Northern Ireland Housing Executive gross capital and revenue expenditure £328 million; Housing Association expenditure, in which I know the hon. Gentleman is interested, £19 million.

Mr. Bradford

Does the Minister accept that the increase of about £7 million in the allocation to housing associations in the Province will be welcomed, particularly since that allocation will help with the housing costs of the elderly? Is the Minister satisfied that the allocation to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive will enable it not only to begin 3,500 new dwellings but to provide an unbroken and prompt flow of repair and renovation grants?

Mr. Mitchell

We particularly welcome the work that the housing association movement is doing for the elderly, for the rehabilitation schemes in Belfast, for the special needs of the handicapped, for hostels and so on. Final arrangements are being made with the Housing Executive about the way in which it will conduct its capital programme.

Mr. Stanbrook

So that we may know the improvement that has been achieved for next year, may we be given the comparable figures for this year?

Mr. Mitchell

The housing association increases are from £13 million to £19 million, and for the Housing Executive from £292 million to £328 million.

Mr. Pendry

Will the Minister clarify the relationship between the Housing Executive's allocation and the building societies' funds that have recently been apportioned to the Northern Ireland housing sector? Will not he accept that the figure that he has just announced falls far short of what the Housing Executive believes is required merely to stand still, and that that reduced budget will not make a significant dent in the waiting lists in the Province?

Mr. Mitchell

Having just announced a substantial increase in the sums that are to be devoted to housing in Belfast, I find it odd that the hon. Gentleman should talk about a reduction when there has been no reduction. Since, Mr. Speaker, you made a ruling that I should answer only one question, I shall leave it at that.