asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how much money has been spent by local authorities on the purchase of private accommodation since March 1974.
As regards the acquisition of new houses from private developers, up to 15th January approval has been given for the acquisition of 9,209 houses in England and Wales at a cost of £91,220,995, of which some £67 million is likely to be spent in the current financial year. According to returns so far received from local authorities, some £60 million was spent up to the end of September on buying about 7,400 existing houses for continued use under the general consent given by my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State in Circular 70/74. Additionally, approval has been given to acquisitions of existing dwellings not falling within the general consent to a total value of some £20 million.