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Slum Areas

Volume 155: debated on Wednesday 21 June 1922

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asked the Minister of Health whether any circular has ever been issued by his Department to local authorities asking them to make a return of all slum areas in their districts; and, if not, whether, in view of the reduced cost of building, it is proposed to urge all local authorities to consider the rebuilding of all slum areas possible in order to provide better housing accommodation and also building work for the unemployed at the present time?

A return was obtained in 1919 showing the areas which, in the opinion of the local authorities, might have to be dealt with as unhealthy areas under the Housing of the Working Classes Act, 1890. Progress is being made with a number of schemes in various parts of the country already operative, or in preparation, and negotiations are proceeding with other local authorities for the adoption of further schemes.

Could not the right hon. Gentleman bring some pressure on bodies like the London County Council, where a good many schemes are not making headway?

I am in continual touch with the London County Council, and two or three schemes are on the point of being started now, and more are being considered.

When an order for demolition is made, is alternative accommodation provided, in view of the fact that I have just come from the eviction of an ex-service man in Dartford who has to go into the workhouse with a family of five?

Of course, these schemes of rehousing form part of the scheme for the provision of houses.

I mean is it not under the Rent Restrictions Act, 1920, a condition of the demolition order that the tenant must be provided with alternative accommodation?