§ Mr. Cyril Smith
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what were the guidelines that he used in arriving at his conclusions as to what was and what was not a housing stress area for the purpose of capital expenditure on housing; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Freeson
The list of stress authorities was drawn up partly on objective data from the 1971 census about both overcrowding, which gives some indication of housing shortage, and lack of bathrooms, which is a rough measure of the quality of the stock. Both items are indicative of a need to increase the stock but may also yield to other measures. For this reason, and also to update this information, we were guided by additional information from our regional offices about housebuilding performance since 1971 and housing needs.