asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the reasons which have led to a relaxation in his policy concerning the building of three-apartment houses in Scotland.
Since the cessation of the temporary house scheme, several local authorities have reported difficulties in providing suitable accommodation for small families, and where it is shown that a real need exists, a limited proportion of three-apartment permanent houses is being allowed for this purpose.
Is my right hon. Friend aware of the fact that three-apartment houses already form a high percentage of our housing accommodation, and that a large proportion of these houses are grossly overcrowded; and will he take steps to prevent a perpetuation of this overcrowding?
Yes, Sir. These three-apartment houses are being provided for a different purpose. Where an authority is developing a new estate, it is obvious that three-apartment houses in some other part of the town would not fit in with the general housing development, and these houses, are being provided with a view to getting balanced development in each housing site.
Is the Minister aware that a great deal of overcrowding is due to the fact that there are several small families in one house who need separate houses, and will he persevere with the building of three-apartment houses?
Will the Secretary of State give an assurance that he will not use the same argument to allow two-apartment houses?
Yes. Sir; although there are cases where local authorities may want to build two-apartment houses for old age pensioners living alone, and in those exceptional circumstances that may be allowed.