Entry: "Parliamentary Question: Housing - 16 July 2003"

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Ms Oona King (Bethnal Green and Bow): Under the previous Administration, there was chronic under-investment in housing, but we have doubled investment. However, will my right hon. Friend consider the problem of overcrowding? I took one of his predecessors to see a family of 16 people who are living in two bedrooms. Will he review the overcrowding standard that dates from the 1930s and further increase investment in housing?

The Deputy Prime Minister: My hon. Friend is right to point out the problem, particularly in her constituency, of high demand and low levels of social housing, which was made much more difficult by the right-to-buy facility introduced at a cost of £40 billion in subsidies. We are changing those priorities, and more resources are being provided, as the step change demonstrates. However, I will not kid my hon. Friend—a considerable number of extra houses, both rented and new housing, need to be provided, and we are doing as much as we can to meet that demand.