§ Mr. Hatton
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment, if he will seek to ascertain and publish the number of new homes in the area of the Greater Manchester Council now standing empty because the builders are unable to find private buyers.
(2) if he will seek to ascertain and publish the number of new houses in the area of the Greater Manchester Council built for private buyers which are now standing empty and have been offered for sale to the metropolitan district councils.
§ Mr. Kaufman
It is for each local authority to ascertain the scope in their area for the acquisition of suitable unsold houses from private developers and to conduct negotiations with the developers concerned in appropriate cases. I met representatives of the local housing authorities in the Greater Manchester area on 31st May to discuss with them the prospects for action generally under Circular 70/74. I urged them to take all possible advantage of the particular initiative we have taken on acquisitions from developers, and I hope there will be useful additions to local housing stocks from this source. If my hon. Friend has particular problems in mind, I should be grateful if he would let me have details.