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Council Houses (Tenancy Rules)

Volume 722: debated on Tuesday 21 December 1965

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asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will introduce legislation to enable him to prepare model rules for the allocation of corporation tenancies and to recommend each local housing authority to revise its lettings regulations to correspond with them.

Since circumstances vary widely in different areas I doubt whether model rules would be appropriate. But I am making inquiries into the extent to which local authorities require residential qualifications before applicants are admitted to their waiting lists.

While thanking my right hon. Friend for that Answer, particularly what he said about residential qualifications, may I ask him whether he agrees that many other anomalies in housing need codifying? Will he consider what additional advice and assistance can be given to local authorities in this respect?

I will consider it, but I am thinking mainly about the problems of multi-occupation. My hon. Friend may like to know that I have invited the 50 local authorities which have the main multi-occupation problem to discuss with me their qualifications for allocation.

Will not the right hon. Gentleman at least draft a model rule for local authorities saying that where houses are available those who can afford to buy should not be offered a council house?

I would not consider that a model rule. I would consider that an expression of a dogmatic Conservative attitude.

Would the Minister agree that, in the main, local authorities exercise their powers in this matter in a most humane and human way? Therefore, would he disregard this Question?

It is fair to say that this varies a great deal among local authorities. I would not say that all local authorities have residential qualifications which are humane. A great improvement could be achieved, but better by persuasion than by abuse.