§ 19. Mr. Ernie Ross
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he next expects to meet the chairman of Scottish Homes to discuss its budget.
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
Scottish Homes is expected to submit its draft expenditure programme for 1991–92 later this month. My right hon. Friend and I expect to meet the chairman thereafter to discuss this and other matters.
§ Mr. Ross
Does not the proposed budget of Scottish Homes make nonsense of the rural conference that was held last year and of all the aims that were stated there? How does the Minister reconcile those aims with the proposed budget, under which none of the housing associations in Scotland will be able to provide a single new start?
Lord James Douglas Hamilton
I have not yet received the Scottish Homes programme, which has to be approved by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. I can say, however, that £200 million will be allocated to housing associations. I believe that full account will be taken of the needs of traditional clients. Over the years, the role of housing associations has broadened and widened to take into account the interests of not just those who live in urban areas but those who live in rural areas. I believe that that will, indeed, be done. I am confident that Scottish Homes and its board will come forward with sensible proposals.