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Housing

Volume 171: debated on Wednesday 25 April 1990

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33.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he last met the director of the Institute of Housing; and what was discussed.

86.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he last met the director of the Institute of Housing; and what was discussed.

I last met the director when I addressed the institute's presidential dinner on Thursday 1 March. My speech concentrated on housing management issues and the many new initiatives introduced by my Department to improve and enhance management practice. I encouraged the institute to play its part in promoting good management and in the productive working relationship it has with my Department.

37.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the Government's policy on the supply of rented accommodation.

74.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proposals he has to increase the supply of rented accommodation.

The Government's aim is to ensure that decent housing is within reach of every family, and that enough subsidised rented accommodation is available for those who cannot afford to rent privately or to buy. The increases in public expenditure provision for housing association investment announced by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his autumn statement, together with the increased scope for housing associations to use private finance, are a major step towards achieving that aim.

38.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what allocation of the housing investment programme for 1990–91 is being allowed for building new dwellings, and if he will make a statement.

It is for local authorities to decide their own priorities in using the resources available to them from housing investment programme (HIP) allocations and usable capital receipts, although the Government have encouraged them to concentrate on the improvement of their own stock and assisting private owners with grants. The task of providing new subsidised homes for rent and sale is increasingly passing to housing associations, with local authorities fulfilling an enabling role.

45.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give the figures for the housing investment programme allocation in 1979 and 1990, updated to 1990 prices; and if he will make a statement.

76.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give the figures for the housing investment programme allocation in 1979 and 1990, updated to 1990 prices, and if he will make a statement.

The relevant figures for England are £5·43 billion and £2·16 billion respectively. However, since 1979 local authority spending has been enhanced significantly by resources released through the sale of council houses to their tenants.

66.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the average annual rate of decline of council house building between 1979 and 1989.

The figures for new house building in England in 1989 are contained in table 1.2(a) "Housing and Construction Statistics, Part 1" No. 40; those for 1979 are in table 6.1(a) of "Housing and Construction Statistics 1978–1988". Copies are in the Library.

71.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what percentage of housing stock is estimated to be empty in (a) the local authority sector, (b) the housing association sector, (c) the private sector and (d) the Government sector.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Housing and Planning on 27 February 1990 to the hon. Member for Hammersmith (Mr. Soley) at columns 180–81.

96.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has any new proposals to assist first-time home buyers.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Housing and Planning on 21 February to the hon. Member for Leicester, South (Mr. Marshall) at column 741.

57.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he is taking to make private housing properties which are unfit for human habitation or lacking basic amenities adequate for letting to help reduce waiting lists of local authorities; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given earlier today to the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mrs. Golding).