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Council Houses (Sale)

Volume 973: debated on Wednesday 14 November 1979

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24.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if, when drafting legislation relating to the sale of council houses, he will take account of the need of many rural housing authorities to retain a small basic stock of houses to let in scattered communities.

The consultation document on the right to buy includes proposals which would enable local authorities to attach a special condition relating to the resale of council dwellings in a national park or area of outstanding natural beauty.

26.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he proposes to take against local authorities which refuse to initiate the sale of council houses in accordance with the present Government policy.

I refer my hon. Friend to paragraph 30 of the consultation paper—"The Right to Buy"—copies of which have been placed in the Library.

48.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what assurances he can give to council house tenants wanting to buy their own homes whose councils are refusing to sell.

The Government expect to introduce legislation before Christmas which will give council tenants the statutory right to buy. The legislation will include provisions enabling the Secretary of State to intervene as set out in paragraph 30 of the consultation paper—"The Right to Buy"—copies of which have been placed in the Library.

53.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many letters his Department has received from council tenants wanting to buy their own homes whose councils are refusing to sell.

Since May some 1,600 letters have been received concerning the sale of council houses, of which several hundreds have been from tenants whose councils are denying them the opportunity of buying their homes. It is not possible to give a precise figure except at disproportionate cost.

76.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will now establish an independent inquiry into the financial consequences of the sale of council houses.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave to the hon. Member for Vauxhall (Mr. Holland) on 23 October.—[Vol. 972, c. 142.]

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he is taking to make finance available to local authorities to enable them to meet the obligations placed on them by his Department for the sale of council houses; and whether he will make a statement.

I should expect councils to find such resources as may be necessary to carry out their obligations from within their general resources.