Hon. Robert H. Winiers (Minister of Resources and Development):
May I thank the hon. member for sending me a copy of the newspaper clipping. At the present time activity in the housebuilding field is very buoyant. The government, as always, is anxious that within the limits of availability of materials, labour and mortgage financing the demand for houses be met. To that end there was a meeting of the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the larger lending institutions on Wednesday, February 25. This meeting was one of a series of regular meetings between the corporation and the lending institutions, at which general mortgage conditions are discussed.
During 'recent weeks there have been representations that mortgage commitments in sufficient quantity are not available from the lending institutions. These representations, together with the routine meeting, have led to rumours that some new arrangement has been made. This is not the case. But the lending institutions and Central Mortgage are aware that at the moment the demand for mortgage funds seems greater than the supply.
As in the past, Central Mortgage and the lending institutions are co-operating towards finding ways and means of ensuring that there will be sufficient joint loans under the National Housing Act to stimulate a satisfactory volume of housing.
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Inquiries of the Ministry Some newspaper reports have indicated that there are likely to be fewer loans made by the lending institutions in 1953 than there were in 1952. There is no reason to believe this will be so. One important difference this year is that, with the mildness of the winter, the demand for mortgage funds has arisen very much earlier than in years of more normal climatic conditions.
Furthermore, there are instances of inability to secure mortgage commitments because of unsatisfactory location and doubt whether the builder can finance a large development, rather than the lack of mortgage funds.
I can assure the hon. member that this situation is being kept under active review, in order to assure a large volume of housing in 1953.
Subtopic: SUGGESTED UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN CENTRAL