§ Mr. Durant
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what work is being carried out by the Building Research Establishment's housing defects prevention unit.
§ Mr. Stanley
Over the years the cost of remedying defective local authority housing has become very considerable. This was why I announced in March of last year that I would be setting up a defects prevention unit at the Building Research Establishment to work strenuously with the local authorities at trying to reduce the incidence of defects.
The unit will be publishing general information to local authorities in a newsletter called "Defects News" and also specific technical guidance on avoiding particular defects in a series of Defect Action Sheets. The first edition of "Defects News" and the first Defect Action Sheets on "Slated or tiled pitched roofs: ventilation to outside air" and on "Reinforced-concrete framed flats: repair of disrupted brick cladding" are being published today.
Copies are being sent to all local authorities and to New Towns in England and Wales with a housing responsibility, to the Housing Corporation, and to the National Federation of Housing Associations. I am also placing copies in the Library.