§ 83. Mrs. Mahon
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what requests he has received from the Rural Development Commission to develop more housing for rent in rural areas; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Chope
My right hon. Friend's predecessor, and the then Minister for Housing, met Lord Vinson, chairman of the Rural Development Commission, in December 1988, and discussed the need for low-cost housing in rural areas; and the commission's officials have regular discussions with my Department and the Housing Corporation. The commission makes grants to the National Agricultural Centre Rural Trust for its work in helping to establish village-based housing associations. Public expenditure provision for subsidised rented housing in rural areas has increased substantially over the past two years, and the Housing Corporation has established a special rural programme for villages.