§ 53. Mr. Storey
asked the Minister of Health when the Report of the Private Enterprise Sub-Committee of the Central Housing Advisory Committee is to be published; and what action he proposes to take on the sub-committee's recommendations.
§ Mr. Willink
The report of the Committee is being published to-day. The Government have considered this report and have decided to accept the recommendation that Exchequer subsidy should be provided for houses built by private enterprise (which for this purpose will include, among others, houses built by housing associations, houses built by persons for their own occupation and houses built for employees) during the early postwar period, subject to conditions as to size, construction, selling price and rent. It is proposed that the administration of the scheme should be in the hands of local authorities, who will have the necessary powers to prevent the risk of abuse by collusive arrangements. I propose to introduce the necessary legislation in due course. I am inviting representatives of local authorities to confer with me as to the administrative arrangements which will be necessary if legislation is approved by Parliament. The Government have also decided to accept the recommendation to reconsider the present limit of £800 fixed under the Small Dwellings (Acquisition) Acts and Section 91 of the Housing Act, 1936, for the purpose of advances and to introduce the necessary legislation for this purpose. Decisions as to the amount of the increase will be made when the time comes for the introduction of the legislation. The Government also accept the recommendation that support should be given to the development of a scheme on the lines of the National House Builders Registration Council for securing the maintenance of good standards of building.
§ Mr. Storey
Can my right hon. and learned Friend say whether the legislation will be introduced during the present Session?
§ Mr. Willink
I hardly think so, because the date for this legislation will really be when we know what the size of the housing subsidy will be.
§ Mr. Austin Hopkinson
Are we to understand from that reply, that all the silly old follies that were perpetrated after the last war in this matter are to be repeated?
§ Sir Irving Albery
Can the Minister say whether small houses which have been destroyed by enemy action, and on which a value payment is being made, will enjoy the subsidy in addition?
§ Mr. Willink
I do not quite understand my hon. Friend's question, because in the case of small houses of modern construction, there will be a cost of works payment, which is the cost of rebuilding the house at the date when it is rebuilt—not a value payment.
§ Mr. Bossom
Does the Minister expect that building costs will be stabilised in about two or three years after the war?