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Building Societies

Volume 893: debated on Monday 9 June 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what response he has had from the building societies in answer to his request that they should consider how far they could help where local authorities are compelled to curtail their mortgage lending.

The Government and the Building Societies Association have discussed the situation that will arise as a result of the switch of resources from local authority lending to their other housing programmes. The building societies are willing in principle to help make up the £100 million switch from local authority lending for home ownership. This sum will represent an addition to the amount for lending which, under the agreement on stabilisation which I announced on 11th April, the societies would otherwise have planned in order to support an active housing market during 1975.My Department will now be making arrangements for detailed discussions between the societies and local authorities, to be organised on a regional basis. The aim of the discussions will be to identify local authority lending schemes which are directly linked to authorities' housing objectives and where building society participation could properly be made available within their normal lending terms. This will help local authorities to concentrate their limited resources on the particularly hard cases.