(1) No assistance shall be given under section nineteen of this Act in respect of the provision of dwellings by means of the conversion of dwellings in relation to which the conditions specified in subsection (1) of section twenty-two of this Act for the time being apply.
(2) Where by virtue of the giving on any occasion of assistance under section nineteen of this Act in respect of the improvement of a dwelling the conditions specified in subsection (1) of section twenty-two of this Act fall to be required to be observed with respect to the dwelling before the observance thereof by virtue of the giving of assistance on a previous occasion has ceased to be requisite, the provisions of sections twenty-two and twenty-three of this Act and of subsection (4) of section twenty-four thereof shall apply in relation to the dwelling as regards each occasion on which assistance is so given as if it were the only occasion on which it were so given:
Provided that in relation to any period during which the said conditions are simultaneously required to be observed by virtue of the giving of assistance on more than one occasion, anything which would or would not constitute a breach of the condition as to rent in relation to the application of that condition by virtue of the giving of assistance on the last occasion shall be treated as constituting or, as the case may be, not constituting a breach of that condition in relation to the application thereof by virtue of the giving of assistance on any previous occasion.—[ Mr. Blenkinsop.]
Brought up, and read the First time.
I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."This new Clause deals with the problem of second application for grant under the Bill, in a way rather similar to the way in which in Committee we added a new Clause where the initial grant had been made under the Rural Workers (Housing) Acts. Where a grant has already been made by the local authority under Clause 19 (3, a), the local authority has to satisfy itself that the dwelling is to be provided or improved up to a satisfactory standard of housing accommodation for not less than 30 years after the completion of the works. We therefore feel that, while it may be desirable for further improvement work to be done to connect up with a source of water supply that has just become available, or an electricity supply, or something of that sort, there is no proper reason why we should accept or consider a second grant for conversion purposes. Therefore, the first part of this new Clause lays it down that so far as conversion is concerned the local authority will not consider an application for a second grant. The second part of the new Clause makes the necessary provision where a local authority is considering an application for a second grant in relation to improvements of the kind I have just referred to, and will enable the owner to charge an appropriate increase in rent in relation to that part of the expenses that he has himself incurred, which would be of course the same as in relation to his initial grant. We also provide in this Clause that there shall be proper marrying of the conditions which apply to the improvement grants, if made.
We think that it would be to the advantage of the legislation if this Clause were added. We are, of course, getting into almost theological complication in consideration of this matter. I am reminded of the old lady in my own country who, going into a small bank to inquire about her War Loan, was asked by the manager whether she was concerned with conversion or redemption, to which her answer was that she thought she had come into a bank and not into a kirk. The real danger is of making this legislation so complicated that those to whom we primarily desire its advantages to be directed, namely, the small owners, may find it very difficult to understand; and all one can say is that, while we are in favour of this, we trust that it will be possible somehow or another, at some stage of our housing legislation, to codify these matters so that ordinary persons will be able both to run and read it. At present we do not think the Minister can alter the rather cumbrous forms into which these Clauses are now falling, and, therefore, we would not offer any opposition to the adding of this new Clause.
Question put, and agreed to.
Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.