HC Deb 10 July 1962 vol 662 cc1141-2
28. Mrs. Butler

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he will introduce legislation to alleviate the hardships of leaseholders facing eviction due to redevelopment.

Dr. Hill

I presume that the hon. Lady is referring to occupiers whose leases are about to expire. I do not think that any protection of the kind envisaged would be practicable without seriously impeding redevelopment, and in general that would be against the public interest.

Mrs. Butler

Since the number of people in this plight—many of them elderly—is increasing with every fresh scheme of urban renewal that is under- taken will the right hon. Gentleman include a study of this aspect of the problem in the general study he is making to see if he can find a way of helping these people without hamstringing the redevelopment schemes?

Dr. Hill

I agree with the hon. Lady that there is a problem of rehousing involved, but what I am resisting is the suggestion that redevelopment should not be a ground for possession at the end of a lease. That is a proposition I cannot accept, but in general the problem of rehousing prior to redevelopment, particularly in twilight areas, is an important one to which I am giving attention.

Mr. Awbery

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there are pockets of the population who are suffering grave injustice and hardship under the Leasehold Act? Will he take steps to bring this matter urgently before Parliament so that this injustice can be removed?

Dr. Hill

The leasehold issue in terms of renewal of leases is being studied, but, as the hon. Member will appreciate, the redevelopment aspect is excluded from that study as it is from the Landlord and Tenant Act.