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Old Persons' Dwellings

Volume 480: debated on Thursday 16 November 1950

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41.

asked the Minister of Health how many old persons dwellings are under construction; and how many have been completed in the post-war housing programme.

No separate record is kept of housing accommodation provided specifically for old persons.

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that many houses are inhabited by one old person living alone and that the houses become a burden to such old people, who would be glad to move to a smaller house? Will he use his powers of persuasion with local authorities to build a fair proportion of special old persons' dwellings, and thus set free a number of family-size dwellings with the use of comparatively small quantities of material?

If my hon. Friend will look at HANSARD he will see that last week I gave an answer about the number of houses of this type which have been constructed. Also, last year I issued a circular to local authorities calling attention to the facts which the Opposition have only just now discovered.

In view of this remarkable appearance of a Daniel come to judgment, will the Minister have another look at his figures and, in particular, the very low percentage of the small houses which he gives as against the much larger percentage for the larger houses?

If the right hon. and gallant Gentleman will consult his friends who serve on the Central Housing Advisory Committee, he will discover that this matter has been before us for some time and that the local authorities have been urged to give special attention to it.

In view of the Minister's well-known power of invective in matters in which he is interested, will he apply some of it to the speeding up of this desirable reform?

We have speeded it up, and the number of houses in this class is rapidly rising.