HC Deb 22 October 1968 vol 770 cc259-60W
63. Mr. Peter M. Jackson

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether, in view of the fact that the Chapel-en-le-Frith Rural District Council have kept well within the limit in respect of advances for house purchase, he will reconsider his decision not to sanction any further advances during the half year ending 31st March, 1969.

Mr. Greenwood

No. There is no reserve within the overall total available for housing advances from which any such cancelled quotas can be reinstated.

64. Mr. Prior

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government why the quotas for advances for house purchases for the second half-year for small local authorities have been cut to nil, in view of previous allocations already agreed by his Department.

Mr. Greenwood

All quotas below £10,000 have been reduced to zero, irrespective of the size of the authority. The reason is that very small amounts do not justify an authority's providing home loan facilities, while it is important to use such amounts to avoid hardship to committed borrowers from over-lent authorities. Previous allocations were in any case provisional.

65. Mr. Prior

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government why his Department has allowed some local authorities to exceed their quota for house purchase during the first half of 1968–69, and now plans to penalise those authorities which have kept to their quota by abolishing it completely.

Mr. Greenwood

I regret that some authorities entered into firm commitments to borrowers in excess of the quotas provisionally allocated to them for the second half of the year. In order to keep faith with these borrowers it was necessary to reduce quotas for other areas. I regret this and shall be discussing with the local authority associations measures to avoid a recurrence of it.

Mr. Kershaw

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government why he has reduced the allocation for advances for house purchase by Stroud Urban District Council for the second half of the current financial year from £9,652 to nil; whether he is aware that this decision will adversely affect housing prospects in the area and will be particularly harmful to the improvement of older houses; when he will resume advances for house purchase to local authorities; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Greenwood

I would refer the hon. Member to the replies I have given today to similar Questions by the hon. Member for Lowestoft (Mr. Prior).

Mr. Prior

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government how much money he plans to advance to local authorities this financial year for house purchase, as compared with last year.

Mr. Greenwood

Local authorities will be able to advance £95 million as compared with £130 million last year.