HC Deb 15 July 1987 vol 119 cc1130-2
14. Mr. Cohen

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what measures he proposes to take to relieve homelessness, long housing waiting lists and disrepair in London.

Mr. Waldegrave

The measures that we set out in our manifesto will help London's housing by reviving the independent rented sector, involving a wider variety of landlords in the provision of housing for rent, and concentrating resources where they are most needed.

Mr. Cohen

The Minister's gabbled reply will be deeply disappointing to the many thousands of Londoners living in inadequate accommodation. When will the Government take effective steps to tackle the rising homelessness in the capital? It is rising by about 20 per cent. per annum. When will the Government curtail the degrading bed and breakfast system and provide a chance for those people on growing waiting lists who are desperate for a flat? When will the Government provide money to help improve the estates that are being run down? Are not the Government's housing policies the problem in London, not the solution?

Mr. Waldegrave

The hon. Gentleman prepared his speech before he listened to my answer. If he reads my answer, which he may not have been able to hear, he will find that there are practical proposals in the pipeline.