§ Mr. Tierney
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will make a statement on the estimated number of houses he expects to be completed in 1974;
(2) if he will make a statement on the estimated number of houses forecast by local authorities to be completed in 1974.
§ Mr. Freeson
It will take time to reverse the disastrous trend we inherited in new housebuilding, which produced record lows in 1973 in provision by local authorities. There are, however, encouraging signs that local authorities are responding to the initiatives we have taken to expand their housebuilding programmes and I expect to see a marked improvement in the numbers of local authority houses built and started this year.233W
As regards other contributions to total housing provision, the loans we have offered to building societies should help in the private sector and we are also seeking an extension of building by housing assocations.