HC Deb 27 July 1988 vol 138 cc271-2W
Mr. Barry Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) how many(a) Airey type and (b) Unity type houses exist in Alyn and Deeside District council area; what is the estimated cost of reconstituting each of them by type; and if he will make a statement as to when he expects these houses to be repaired;

(2) if he will increase grants to local authorities in Wales to ensure the priority repair of Unity and Airey type houses; and if he will make a statement;

(3) if he will increase the amount of grants to Alyn and Deeside council to enable the housing authority to meet its commitment to repair Airey houses and Unity type houses under part XVI of the Housing Act 1985; how much has already been granted for the years 1987–88, 1988–89 and 1989–90; and if he will make a statement;

(4) what is the average grant given to reconstitute Airey type houses in Alyn and Deeside; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Grist

I understand that there is a total of 54 Unity and 39 Airey dwellings in the public and private sectors in Alyn and Deeside. For those dwellings in the private sector the provisions of part XVI of the Housing Act 1985 makes assistance available for eligible owners by way of reinstatement grant or repurchase. Such assistance will be available for eligible owners of Airey and Unity dwellings until 30 November 1994. Average costs for the repair of such dwellings are not held centrally but national expense limits for eligible owners have recently been reviewed and are currently set at:

Unity one storey 17,000
Unity two storey 23,000
Airey 27,000

For those dwellings in the public sector we have agreed with the local authorities that it should be for them to determine the priority and form of treatment they think most appropriate.

For the private sector we have to date made available more than £30 million to assist local authorities with their obligations under part XVI of the Housing Act 1985.

For the financial years 1985–86 and 1986–87 all bids for such resources were met in full. For 1987–88 one half of such bids were met. This represented £50,000 for Alyn and Deeside district council. A reserve was, however, held against which further bids could be made by those local authorities which could demonstrate contractual commitments. For the current financial year authorities facing exceptional difficulties have again been able to take advantage of a reserve held, over and above main allocations. Alyn and Deeside district council has not made any bids against these resources. In common with all other Welsh local authorities, Alyn and Deeside district council will shortly be submitting its 1989–90 housing strategy and investment programme to the Department, which will be considered in the light of resources available. I cannot at this stage anticipate what allocation will be made for next year.