§ Mr. Gow
We have taken many steps to maintain and improve the condition of the housing stock. These include the special 90 per cent. maximum rates for repairs and intermediate grants in 1982–83 and 1983–84; the introduction in December 1982 of enveloping as a mainstream housing policy; the 20 per cent. increase in May 1983 in eligible expense limits for home improvement grants; and the availability of additional capital allocations to local authorities for spending on home improvement grants in 1982–83 and 1983–84.
These measures have increased both the number of grants given and spending on grants. Spending, which was £90 million in 1978–79 and nearly £200 million in 1981–82 rose to £430 million in 1982–83 and is expected to reach £650 million in 1983–84. The Government's concern to tackle the problem of disrepair has been reflected in a significant rise in the number of repairs grants. In the 1970s these were numbered in hundreds a year. In 1981–82 8,000 were given; 47,000 were made in 1982–83; and this year the figure is likely to top 100,000.
We shall continue to maintain the housing stock within the limits of available resources.