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Council House Costs (London)

Volume 930: debated on Wednesday 20 April 1977

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asked the Secretary of of State for the Environment what is the average cost of a new council house in London.

The average cost of a new council house in London in 1975 was about £17,000.

As we now have a partially renovated Government, would it not be a good idea if they paid more attention to the renovation of existing properties in London—which, according to national average figures, costs about £6,000 per dwelling—than to the expensive building of new council houses. which the nation can ill afford?

The national average unit cost figure for improvements would not be applicable to London, though many excellent conversions have been achieved at that sort of cost. I do not accept the hon. Gentleman's general point. We need to provide more new dwellings where they are required as well as providing modernised homes that will not be demolished.

Is it possible that the housing report that the right hon. Gentleman and his predecessor have sat on for so long will point out the appalling unit cost of housing, which means that, including interest over 60 years, some new GLC dwellings cost about £250,000 each? This cannot go on. Is it not time the report was published, so that the country can decide what sort of housing policies it wants to see?

No report has been sat upon. The hon. Gentleman should check his facts. I suggest that he takes his remarks, which are rather exaggerated and a little gross, to the hustings.