§ Mr. Anderson
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his policy towards the role of local housing authorities in providing new accommodation for categories other than special needs; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Tracey
The main priority for local authorities must be the renovation and repair of their existing housing. For new accommodation to rent, our main aim is to diversify the supply and increase the choice available to tenants by creating opportunities for private sector organisations to become involved in meeting a wider range of housing needs. Local authorities are ideally placed to co-ordinate and encourage participation in this task by a variety of agencies, including building societies, other financial institutions, private developers, and housing associations.
§ Mr. Janner
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many applicants were waiting for housing in the city of Leicester in January 1979, January 1986 and at the latest date for which records are available; and how many individuals it is estimated that such applications represent.
§ Mr. Tracey
The only available information is from the 1986 housing investment programme returns. These returns included the number of households on the waiting list at 1 April 1986 and the increase or decrease since April 1985, and the figures for Leicester are listed in columns B51 and B53 on page 4.11 of the "HIPI (1986) all items print" which is available in the Library.
Information on the number of people within these households is not available centrally, but the hon. and learned Member may be able to obtain figures from the city council.