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Unoccupied Houses (Requisitioning)

Volume 393: debated on Thursday 4 November 1943

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71.

asked the Minister of Health whether he will make it compulsory for local authorities to requisition suitable empty premises for re-housing when they have waiting lists for housing accommodation?

No, Sir. The necessary powers have been delegated to local authorities, and I have no information which suggests that they are other than anxious to exercise them to the fullest practicable extent.

72.

asked the Minister of Health whether he will consider introducing a time limit of three weeks by which owners must either re-let or re-occupy empty houses?

I am doubtful whether the imposition of a rigid time limit would be equitable in all circumstances, but I shall be prepared to consider any representations on the matter which may be made to me by local authorities in the light of their experience of the working of the present arrangements.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is a good deal of discontent on the ground that some local authorities in some parts of London are not requisitioning houses when neighbouring areas are doing so and have used up all the houses available?

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it will take more than two or three weeks to put a house into a condition to be occupied?

Is the best way to get houses constantly to harass the owners of houses?