HL Deb 17 February 1981 vol 417 cc674-5WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What steps they are taking to persuade other building societies to follow the lead of the Nationwide Building Society in providing £5 million for mortgages and improvements in five housing action areas in Belfast; whether they will make it possible for the Housing Executive to match the resources provided by the private sector; and whether the possibility of additional loans from EEC sources to the Housing Executive has been fully explored.

Lord Elton

The Government have taken a number of initiatives, in co-operation with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, to inform building societies of the considerable potential for lending in Northern Ireland. A series of meetings at both national and regional level involving all societies operating in Northern Ireland have been held. The response has been most favourable and detailed discussions are now taking place with individual societies about the level and extent of the assistance they will provide. In addition, the Government have approached the Building Societies Association with a view to continuing the arrangements which have applied for the last two years whereby socities collectively allocate a specific sum for lending on older, cheaper property.

Sufficient public resources will be provided to enable the Northern Ireland Housing Executive proposals for declared housing action areas to be undertaken, through the purchase and improvement of houses and grants to private owners.

The availability of loans from the Economic Community sources for housing projects has been fully explored. The position is still the same as that indicated in the reply given to the noble Lord on 12th May 1980.