HC Deb 21 December 1988 vol 144 cc340-1W
38. Mr. Michael J. Martin

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to eradicate dampness in council and Scottish Special Housing Association property.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Responsibility for eradicating dampness in local authority houses rests with the local authorities themselves. It is up to them to decide how much of the resources available to them should be used for this purpose. To assist this the Secretary of State has made increasing capital allocations available for work on authorities' own stock. In recent years these have included special allocations for tackling condensation and dampness, rising to £27 million in the current year, though authorities have been free to spend more on this if they wish. For 1989–90 we are increasing overall allocations by £45 million (as well as subsuming the special allocations into the general allocations). This means that authorities will continue to be well placed to carry out work to which they attach priority.

In recent years as par of a general programme of improvement of its existing stock, the Scottish Special Housing Association has maintained successive annual programmes of central heating installation and the provision of improved thermal insulation. In the current year the association will spend £3.6 million on work of this type involving 3,550 houses. In its programme of comprehensive modernisation of non-traditional houses, now nearing completion, similar improvements have been undertaken in almost 14,000 houses to date.