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Old Houses (Improvement Grant)

Volume 720: debated on Tuesday 16 November 1965

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29.

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will make a statement on his review of old houses lacking baths, hot water and inside lavatories; what is his policy with regard to such houses; and if he will reduce the period of 15 years minimum existence a house must have before an improvement grant can be made.

My right hon. Friend's review is continuing. Its aim is to see what changes would best further his policy of making improvement play its full part in the renewal of our cities. I shall bear my hon. Friend's suggestion in mind.

Is my hon. Friend aware that that Answer will be very pleasing to many families, particularly as most landlords are dragging their feet? Will he also bear in mind that even 10 years is far too long a period in which to have to bring up a family in such houses without improvements and that most councils do not know which houses they will be demolishing 15 years hence?

The 15 years' minimum is certainly one of the things which we are looking at. It is a perfectly fair point to say that all these facilities must be put in some houses which may perhaps have a shorter life.