HL Deb 11 November 1982 vol 436 cc358-9

3.25 p.m.

Lord Gainford

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to increase the funds available for houses built for shared purchase.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment (Lord Bellwin)

My Lords, my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Environment has invited local authorities to make extra bids for capital expenditure in this financial year. He would be happy to consider bids for dwellings built for sale on shared ownership terms. In addition, the Housing Corporation approved development programme for 1982–1983 includes £25 million for shared ownership schemes by housing associations. And in new towns, of some £77 million estimated housing expenditure this year, about £50 million should be spent on new housing available for sale outright or on shared ownership terms. For 1983–84, my right honourable friend has invited local authorities to make separate bids in their housing investment programmes for low-cost home ownership schemes—including shared ownership.

Lord Gainford

My Lords, I thank my noble friend for that encouraging Answer. May I ask him how the Housing Corporaiton is managing to deal with the ever-increasing demand, particularly in view of the take-up of money by housing associations?

Lord Bellwin

My Lords, my right honourable friend has been discussing with the chairman of the Housing Corporation whether the corporation could use additional resources this year. This might enable the corporation to increase expenditure for the remainder of the year on fair rent, hostel and low-cost home ownership schemes, including those for shared ownership. My right honourable friend will be announcing the results of his discussions very shortly.

Lord Nugent of Guildford

My Lords, can my noble friend tell us whether in the Dockland Development Corporation scheme, in the very impressive development of houses for sale which has already occurred in the past 12 months there is a portion for shared ownership?

Lord Bellwin

Yes, my Lords, I am glad to say that that is so. I am grateful to my noble friend Lord Nugent for reminding the House of the very high quality of those schemes. They are available for shared ownership, and I am sure that if any of your Lordships have not seen them they would find it interesting to note what can be done with imaginative design in housing of this kind.