§ Mr. A. Lewis
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs whether he is aware that local authorities in England and Wales who build houses to let do so for those in most urgent need, the majority of whom cannot afford to purchase, and that production of council dwellings has decreased from a total of 202,835 in 1953 to 97,015 in 1963; and what further action he proposes to take to reverse this trend.
§ Sir K. Joseph
Local authorities in England and Wales now own over 3½ million dwellings—a quarter of the total housing stock. This is 50 per cent. more than in 1953. They therefore have available—assuming only a 2½ per cent. turnover—about 90,000 dwellings for reletting. In addition the Government are giving every encouragement to local authorities with urgent problems of slum clearance and other needs to build more houses and to share in the rising programme of housebuilding.