HC Deb 17 April 1985 vol 77 cc177-8W
Mr. Stern

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress he is making with assessing the condition of the local authority housing stock and the amount of expenditure required for necessary repairs and improvements to it.

Mr. Gow

The Government recognise the need to obtain up-to-date and comprehensive information on the condition of the local authority housing stock in order to assess the expenditure necessary to maintain it in a satisfactory condition. Following consultations with the local authority associations, the Department has asked local authorities to provide information on the need for repair and improvements of the houses and fiats which they own and manage. The inquiry forms were issued last week and a copy of the documents sent to individual authorities has been deposited in the Library of the House. We are asking local authorities to complete and return the forms by 31 May.

The information resulting from this survey will be of value in assessing the condition of our public housing stock and the resources required to maintain and repair it. It will also be relevant to continuing discussions about the public infrastructure in the context of the National Economic Development Council. I hope that all authorities will do their best to complete the survey forms as accurately as possible.

Many authorities do not have sufficient information on the condition of their own stock. It is essential that they obtain this information if they are to manage their stock efficiently. I hope that this inquiry will encourage them to take the necessary steps to improve arrangements for regular monitoring of the condition of their housing.