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Housing Finance

Volume 934: debated on Wednesday 29 June 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he remains satisfied that the present system of allocating resources to local authorities for house building and improvement is meeting the housing needs of areas with serious housing stress.

Areas with serious housing stress are receiving first priority under the current arrangements for allocating resources. This will continue under the new system of housing strategies and investment programmes, to be introduced next year, which will enable us to allocate resources according to local comprehensive assessments of housing need.

Does the Minister accept that much of what has been said about the housing review is for the long term? Does he agree that in areas of stress there is a need to get ahead with the building programme and to create employment in the construction industry? Does he see any possibility of an improvement in that situation in the near future?

The Secretary of State has referred to the improvements for which he is looking. I suggest to my hon. Friend that in the allocations made to stress areas the Secretary of State has recognised this problem. The Government are well aware of it and are anxious that resources should go where they are most desperately needed.

Order. I wish to make an appeal to the House before I call the statement. We have a half-day Supply debate and a considerable number of hon. Members wish to speak in it. There is a Ten-Minute Bill and there are several applications under Standing Order No. 9. Therefore, I shall not be able to allow as long on the statements for supplementary questions as I would normally. I must be fair to those who wish to take part in the Supply debate.