HC Deb 19 July 1962 vol 663 cc615-6
8. Mr. N. Pannell

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what reports he has received from local authorities regarding the operation of Part II of the Housing Act, 1961, concerning houses in multiple occupation.

Sir K. Joseph

None, Sir. It is too soon to expect useful reports on the working of provisions which have been in operation only a few months.

Mr. Pannell

While adding my congratulations to my right hon. Friend on his appointment, may I ask whether he is aware that certain local authorities are experiencing great difficulties in obtaining information regarding these houses in multi-occupation because of the non-co-operation of the occupants, and that other local authorities are reluctant to implement this part of the Act because it means that they have to rehouse those who are displaced to the detriment of those on the waiting list for houses? Will my right hon. Friend ensure that this grave problem, which has been aggravated by the great influx of immigrants in recent months, is dealt with with the greatest urgency?

Sir K. Joseph

My hon. Friend is really raising two questions. The first is about reporting to my Department. It is open to any local authority to write to me on any of its experiences under this part of the Act without waiting for the request I shall make generally in two years' time. As regards the second, while recognising the difficulties of some local authorities, I would point out that the purpose of the Act is to enable them to stop matters getting worse even in those cases where they cannot make them get better.

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