asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many households he expects will be rehoused each year under the new housing mobility scheme.
It is not possible to make an estimate at this stage. However, both the scheme within counties and that between counties, together with the various provisions of the Housing Bill to which I referred in Standing Committee F on 6 March should materially help to improve mobility.
Is my hon. Friend aware that the new scheme being set up under his auspices is widely regarded as a major step towards increasing social mobility? What response has he received from individual local authorities and business organisations?
As my hon. Friend is aware, the scheme was the subject of unanimous proposals by the local authority associations—the AMA, ADC and the LBA. We are working with them to set up a working group to develop the scheme within counties and that between counties.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that under this Administration new housing has become so mobile that it has almost disappeared? Is he further aware that the number of housing starts this year is likely to be the lowest since the war? Does he not accept that that is nothing less than a recipe for increased misery and tension in society?
The hon. Gentleman will recognise that one of the most important contributions that we can make towards mobility is that of producing a substantial expansion of home ownership. This Government will achieve that.