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Housing (Scotland)

Volume 154: debated on Friday 19 May 1922

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asked the Secretary for Scotland what is his information in regard to the total number of workers engaged in the building trade in Scotland who are at present unemployed; what is the relative cost of building to-day houses of the various types scheduled under the Housing Acts compared with that prevailing in May, 1910, 1920, and 1921; and whether he is satisfied that everything is being done to encourage private enterprise in supplying the great demand for new houses?

I am informed that the total number of unemployed workers in the building trades in Scotland was 10,121 at 24th April, 1922, the latest date for which figures are available. I have no information about the cost of house building in 1910, but the average costs under State-assisted housing schemes during 1919, 1920, and 1921 were as follows:—

1919.1920.1921.
£££
Three apartment flats700900850
Three apartment cottages750950950
Four apartment cottages8001,0501,000
Five apartment cottages8501,2501,150
The Scottish Board of Health have not had a sufficient number of recent tenders to enable an adequate comparison to be drawn with these figures, but tenders submitted last month by the Town Council of Glasgow give some indication of present-day building costs, the approved costs of the four types of houses specified being £504, £612, £634 and £698 respectively. I hope that, if the present tendency of costs of labour and materials to fall continues, private enterprise will be induced to resume house building.