HC Deb 30 April 1957 vol 569 cc15-6
19. Mrs. Butler

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he will send a circular to local authorities asking them what facilities they have for providing additional accommodation for homeless families when the provisions of the Rent Bill become effective.

Mr. H. Brooke

No, Sir. I do not think that this will be necessary.

Mrs. Butler

Is the Minister aware that already, in many areas, under present circumstances it is impossible to find alternative accommodation for homeless families? In view of that fact, and also the fact that it is known that there will be some cases of eviction when the decontrol provisions of the Rent Bill become effective—because landlords have already made that clear—should not the Minister make it his duty to find out what are the difficulties of local authorities in this respect?

Mr. Brooke

I am not sure whether the hon. Lady appreciates that under the Rent Bill there could be none of the evictions of which she speaks for eighteen months at least, by which time a great deal of additional accommodation will have become available.

Mr. Hastings

Does not the Minister realise what a bad thing it is for mothers and children to be crowded together, with the mothers having nothing whatever to do, and what a bad moral effect that sort of thing has? Is he also aware how highly desirable it is, even at the present time, that some accommodation should be provided for those families, even although there are not yet as many evictions as there probably will be in eighteen months' time?

Mr. Brooke

It is one of the main purposes of the Rent Bill to render more accommodation available.

Mr. Mitchison

Is the Minister aware that many of these families, having rather more foresight than he has, are already asking local councils if they can find room for them? Would it not be as well to ascertain what are the resources of local councils in this matter?

Mr. Brooke

I have a very good appreciation of that, but surely one should say to everybody who is thinking of applying to a local authority that he should first see what he can do for himself.

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