To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proposals he has to increase the supply of rented housing.
The main aim of the deregulation proposals in part I of the Housing Bill is to increase the supply of rented accommodation. We are confident that the relaxation of rent controls over new lettings, backed up by the generous tax relief under my right hon. Friend's proposed extension of the business corporation scheme, will provide a powerful incentive to invest in rented property.The Local Government Act 1988 also included an explicit new power for local authorities to assist in the provision of privately let accommodation.We are also helping housing associations to provide more new homes for rent and to repair some empty properties to bring them back into rented use. We have both increased the Housing Corporation's programme by some £50 million in 1988–89 rising to a total of £850 million in 1990–91 and announced major increases in the grant rates available for schemes using private finance to make public money stretch further in providing new homes.