asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will advise local authorities to use their powers to reduce the required standard, where appropriate in special cases, in respect of applications for improvement and intermediate grants for dwellings for disabled occupants; and if he will make a statement.
In DOE circular 160/74 local authorities were recommended to use their powers to waive or reduce the requirements for both intermediate and improvement grants in any individual case where they were satisfied that there were good reasons for doing so. I certainly expect local authorities freely to exercise their discretion in this respect in dealing with applications for the renovation of dwellings with disabled occupants.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if local authorities have been empowered under Section 56(4) of the Housing Act 1974 to make improvement and intermediate grants in respect of dwellings for a disabled occupant which were erected after 2nd October 1961; what plans he has to issue a direction; and if he will make a further statement.
I do not think it right that certain amendments made during the passage of what is now the Housing Act 1974 should adversely affect the way in which dwellings may be made suitable for the accommodation, welfare or employment of a disabled occupant or for the provision of accessible standard amenities. My right hon. Friend, therefore, proposes shortly to issue by means of a circular a general direction under Section 56(4) of the Act, under which local authorities will be able to entertain applications for improvement and intermediate grants for dwellings for disabled occupants regardless of the date they were built.