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Thermal Insulation

Volume 932: debated on Wednesday 18 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the various forms and amounts of financial assistance so far provided by his Department towards the costs of insulation and draught-proofing in local authority dwellings and in private dwellings.

In the case of local authority dwellings where loft insulation is provided as part of a comprehensive improvement scheme or to meet the special needs of an elderly or disabled tenant, the capital cost of provision qualifies for housing subsidy, which is paid at the rate of 66 per cent. of the loan charges arising on the capital cost. It is not possible to identify separately the amount of subsidy paid for this purpose.In the private sector, local authorities may pay an improvement grant, normally of 50 per cent. of the cost, where loft insulation is provided to meet the special needs of elderly or disabled applicants who cannot reasonably meet the whole cost themselves. Prior to the issue of DOE circular 38/77, which abolished the need to obtain the consent of the Secretary of State to the making of such a grant, consent was given in three cases covering 10 dwellings. For nine of these dwellings the grant paid totalled £172: the amount paid on the other dwelling is not known. This expenditure attracts a Government contribution of 75 per cent. of the notional loan charges.Neither subsidy nor grant is generally available for other forms of insulation or in circumstances other than those described above.