HC Deb 21 November 1974 vol 881 cc526-7W
Mr. Cledwyn Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what progress is being made to improve the house building programme in Wales; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Morris

There has already been a marked improvement in local authority house building programmes. The new subsidy proposals contained in the Housing Rents and Subsidies Bill now before this House should encourage local authorities in Wales to expand their programmes. When the proposals become law, there will be at their disposal in 1975–76, in addition to the £24 million which would have been available under the Housing Finance Act 1972, an uplift of £5 million to meet new house building costs and £1 million to meet refinancing charges, as well as £3 million to cushion the effect of increases when the rent freeze ends.

In the private sector I hope that the many Government initiatives in this field, including provision for the acquisition of new houses by local authorities, general consent to local authority lending to first-time purchasers of newly-built houses, and the loan assistance given to building societies, will enable private builders to maintain a steady programme.

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