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Volume 973: debated on Wednesday 14 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will make a statement on current mortgage facilities available to prospective house purchasers.

Building societies, which are the major source of finance for house purchase, expect to advance a record £8·8 billion in 1979. In addition, local authorities are able to use part of their housing investment programme allocations for mortgage lending to private purchasers. Local authorities also have power under the Housing Act 1957 to advance mortgages to tenants who are purchasing local authority dwellings. My right hon. Friend has announced the setting up of a group to consider and review possible options on ways and means of securing an adequate and stable flow of funds to generate a substantial growth in home ownership. As well as the building societies, the group includes people of experience from the other main financial institutions.