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Housing (Estimates)

Volume 395: debated on Wednesday 1 December 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what respective estimates have been made of the requirements in respect of housing in Scotland to replace slums, to end overcrowding, to house persons married since 1938, to meet the requirements of those on waiting lists since before 1938, to meet bomb damage, and to meet prospective demands during the next 10 years arising from population increases and needed improvements in housing standards?

Present circumstances make it impossible to carry out a survey to get an accurate estimate of the number of new houses required in Scotland. The following provisional estimates have, however, been made of the number of houses required under each category:

(i) houses required to replace unfit houses121,000
(ii) houses required to end over crowding (1938 figure)200,000
(iii) houses required as a result of the increased marriage rate since December, 1938130,000
(iv) houses required to meet general needs and to replace houses destroyed by bombing65,000
516,000
Deduct houses completed since December, 193850,000
466,000
The prospective demands for further houses during the next decade will depend upon a number of factors including the marriage rate, the rate of wastage of houses and rising housing standards and it is impossible to make any estimate at the present time.

asked the Minister of Health what respective estimates have been made of the requirements in respect of housing in England and Wales to replace slums, to end overcrowding, to house persons married since 1938, to meet bomb damage, to meet the requirements of those on waiting lists since before 1938, and to meet prospective demands during the next 10 years arising from population increases and needed improvements in housing standards?

The generally accepted estimate of 3,000,000 to 4,000,000 houses is a broad indication of the probable housing need during the first 10 to 12 years of the peace and has been arrived at not so much by the combination of a series of detailed estimates, which could not be precise, as by reference to the two overriding considerations, namely, the number of dwellings required to replace slum dwellings and dwellings in a poor condition or grossly deficient in modern amenities and the number required to give each family a separate dwelling and so eliminate overcrowding. One million five hundred thousand to 2,500,000 dwellings are included for the former purpose and 1,500,000 for the latter. Compared with these figures the number of houses destroyed or damaged beyond repair is, I am glad to say, not material.