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Housing (Rentals)

Volume 155: debated on Tuesday 13 June 1922

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asked the Minister of Health how many applications have been made to him by local authorities for permission to reduce the rentals of council houses erected with the State guarantee; in how many cases the permission has been granted; whether the grant of such permission increases the financial liability of the State; how much, in that case, has been added to the financial liability of the State during the last year ending:30th April; and what is the policy of his Department in respect to such reductions?

Applications for reductions of rent have been received from some 400 local authorities, being about one-third of the authorities carrying out schemes, and reductions have been agreed in the case of 225 authorities. If it were assumed that the original rents could in all cases have been collected, these reductions would increase the deficit for which the State is liable by approximately £75,000 per annum. Rules for determination of rents are laid down in the Regulations approved by Parliament, arid it is my policy to secure that no rents are fixed less than those contemplated by the Regulations.