§ Mr. Heddle
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to the number of mortgages the Greater London council has currently effected and the current value of the Greater London council mortgage book; and what he proposes for the Greater London council mortgage book upon abolition.
§ Sir George Young
I understand that at 31 July 1984, the GLC had outstanding loans totalling £306 million secured on 55,000 mortgages for house purchase and improvement. We intend that, on abolition, the GLC's mortgage account for these loans should pass as a whole to the London residuary body. All the existing terms of the mortgages will be unchanged, including the fixed rates of interest which apply to about half of those loans. The residuary body will be directed to adopt the normal148W practice of local authorities and leading private lending institutions in managing the account, including in the treatment of any borrowers who fall into arrears. It will be the job of the residuary body to arrange for as many as possible of the transferred mortgages to be refinanced with bodies in the private sector like building socieities and banks, but only with the agreement of the borrower. The prescribed proportion of virtually all the residuary body's mortgage receipts will be distributed among the London boroughs and we intend that this should be done in proportion to HIP allocations. The boroughs will be able to use them to supplement their housing investment programme allocations. By pursuing an active policy of securing refinance, the residuary body may be able to unlock resources for investment in local authority housing in the capital.