HC Deb 25 February 1937 vol 320 cc2175-6
49. Mr. Riley

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the tenants of houses erected by the Dewsbury Corporation under the slum-clearance procedure are in many cases called upon to pay considerably higher rents and rates than they had to meet in the dwellings they vacated; that these tenants are complaining of this hardship; and whether he will have inquiries made and, if necessary, make representation to the corporation to observe the terms of the regulations under which subsidies are granted for the purpose of re-housing displaced tenants at rentals which they can afford to pay?

Sir K. Wood

I understand that one complaint on the ground mentioned by the hon. Member has been received by the council. The obligation on local authorities under the Act is to take into consideration the rents ordinarily payable by persons of the working classes in the locality, and I have no reason to suppose that the council have failed to comply with this requirement. I understand that the weekly exclusive rents charged by them for houses under their slum-clearance scheme range from 3s. 9d. to 5s. 6d., and are considerably lower than the rents of their other houses.

Mr. Riley

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many of these tenants are now paying almost double the rent they were paying before they were moved into these new houses?

Sir K. Wood

I think this might well be left to the local authority. I understand the local authority have already made a reduction in rent from April, 1935, and, as far as I am aware, only one complaint has been made. As the hon. Member will see, the rates are, I think, reasonable enough, having regard to the additional and improved accommodation which is now available.

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