HC Deb 17 October 1990 vol 177 cc1203-4
Mr. Norman Hogg

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects to publish the report of the Scottish housing conditions survey; and if he will make a statement.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

The results of the national house condition survey will be published in the summer of 1993.

Mr. Hogg

Is not it true that the report is not being published because it would harm the Government's prospects in the general election, because the Minister is ashamed of what it will reveal about disrepair and dampness in Scottish housing, leading to a crisis of homelessness, and because he will not make available the necessary funds properly to house the people of Scotland?

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

The physical survey of the sample dwellings will take place before the social survey of occupants. The two sets of data necessarily need to be compiled before the statistical analysis is conducted. It is not possible to publish the physical survey results in advance of the social survey, and all the results need to be considered as a whole. Unfortunately, an earlier publishing date is not feasible. The reporting timetable is customary for surveys of such complexity. The national house condition survey is not a substitute for local surveys, which I strongly urge all local authorities to carry out.

Mrs. Fyfe

Does the Minister recall that Glasgow district council carried out a local survey several years ago, but the Government have taken no action on it? Although Glasgow has the highest allocation, it still has nothing like the amount of resources that it requires.

As the survey will take the best part of three years, will the Minister undertake to visit some of the bad housing areas, such as those in my constituency, so that he can see the damp-ridden houses? He should not come to Maryhill only to open pretty, new housing estates.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

The hon. Lady must be aware that I have visited 52 district councils in Scotland and have seen their housing stock. I have been to the hon. Lady's constituency several times. Although I opened a new housing project, she must appreciate that it is not possible to visit her constituency without seeing other sorts of housing. I have seen plenty of examples of damp housing. I stress that what goes into Glasgow's housing plan will be very important and will be fully taken into account before allocations are made.

On the point about local surveys, the hon. Lady is aware that Scottish Homes is spending considerable sums of money in Glasgow, and that almost £500 million has been spent by housing associations.