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Housing (Rural Workers) Acts (Grants)

Volume 415: debated on Thursday 1 November 1945

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asked the Minister of Health whether grants payable on building work approved under the Rural Workers Housing Acts will be met even if the work, owing to unavoidable delay, is not under way or completed by the time that these Acts are discontinued.

In order that assistance may be given under the Housing (Rural Workers) Acts, applications for assistance must have been received by the local authorities before 30th September, 1945. The Acts do not specify a date for completion of the works, and the question whether assistance should be given where the work is unavoidably delayed depends on the terms of the local authority's scheme as approved. The scheme is required by the Acts to specify the period within which works must be completed but it is open to a local authority to con- sent to a reasonable extension of this period. Local authorities were advised at the inception of the scheme in 1927, that in fixing the period for each individual case they should have regard to the availability of suitable labour and materials in the area and the extent of the work to be done, and were informed that for the purposes of approval it would be sufficient to prescribe that the period allowed would not exceed (say) six months from the date of approvel by the local authority of the proposal, unless the special consent of the local authority to an extension of this period was obtained in view of the character of the works or conditions arising during their execution.