asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce legislation to permit local authorities to assist persons seeking to repair properties such as Airey houses which they have bought where the approved cost of the structural alterations was subsequently raised by 15 per cent. as a result of the imposition of value added tax under the Finance Act 1984, but the grant to the householder had already been fixed; and whether he will make a statement.
New legislation is not needed: owners of Airey houses who are seeking to repair them can withdraw their application under part VII of the Housing Act 1974 (even where the application has already been approved) and apply for assistance under the Housing Defects Act 1984, where the eligible expense limit for reinstatement grant (£14,000) takes account of the imposition of VAT.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the local authorities which have contacted him following his invitation made on 13 March, Official Report, column 348 in respect of those authorities having particular difficulties with the obligations of the Housing Defects Act; and what has been his response to those authorities.
Following my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's announcement on 13 March my Department issued on 27 March a circular (9/85) inviting local authorities which wished to bid for additional housing investment programme allocations to do so by writing to the appropriate regional office by 31 May.The following local authorities have responded in the terms set out in the circular.
- Newcastle city council
- North Wiltshire district council
- Nuneaton and Bedworth borough council
- Redbridge borough council
- Reigate and Banstead borough council
- Sedgefield district council
- West Somerset district council
My right hon. Friend and I will give to these, and to any other applications which we receive, the most careful consideration.