HC Deb 10 January 1978 vol 941 cc714-5W
Mr. Bean

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what arrangements are to be made to give effect to the proposed programme for insulating public sector dwellings; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeson

In England the programme is planned to bring about 200,000 dwellings a year up to a basic minimum standard of thermal insulation at an estimated annual cost of £23 million—1977 survey prices. £22 million of this will be allocated to local authorities for insulation of their housing stock; the balance will be for the insulation of new town and housing association dwellings. Resources for the local authority programme for 1978–79 will be included with the main regional cash allocations for local authority housing investment and will be distributed on the basis of a formula reflecting the size of the local authority housing stock and the incidence of construction industry unemployment within each region. Local allocations will be made by the Department's regional offices having regard to these factors and to their judgment of the local situation. Consultations will be held with the local authority associations on the administration and control of the programme for subsequent years.

The work to be undertaken will comprise basic loft insulation, tank lagging, pipe lagging—within the loft space—and draught stripping. A circular giving more details will be issued to authorities soon. Expenditure on such works will be eligible for housing subsidy. Authorities will be asked initially to give priority to insulating dwellings occupied by elderly and disabled people. The possibility of further priority categories in subsequent years is under consideration.

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