§ 16. Mr. Coleman
asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many houses were completed in Wales in each of the past three years; and what is his estimate of the number likely to be completed in 1982.
§ Mr. Wyn Roberts
The total number of houses completed in Wales in 1981 was 8,936, compared with 10,349 in 1980 and 11,265 in 1979. It is not possible to make a reliable estimate of the total number likely to be completed by the end of 1982, but there were 1,804 completions in the first quarter.
§ Mr. Coleman
There has been an obvious and progressive decline in house building in Wales under this Government. How many people have been registered as homeless with the local authorities in Wales in each of the past three years? How does the Government's policy of compulsorily selling council houses help to alleviate the problem of homelessness, which is rapidly worsening in Wales?
§ Mr. Roberts
The hon. Gentleman has asked me for the number of homeless people, but that requires a completely different set of figures. I shall be happy to supply him with the information if he tables a question to that effect. The hon. Gentleman knows that the sale of council houses makes no difference whatsoever to the total housing stock available. If secure tenants who bought their homes had not done so, they would have remained in those houses as tenants. I am particularly glad that as many as 14 per cent. of council tenants in Wales have applied to take up the right to buy, and that 28 per cent. of those who have applied have completed their purchases and are now owner-occupiers.
§ Mr. Wigley
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of the Secretary of State's lengthy answers and the fact that not all the questions have been answered, might it be possible to consider giving a full hour to Welsh Questions in future?