§ 14. Mr. Manuel
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will seek to amend the Housing Act 1964 to permit local authorities, where houses are structually sound and landlords refuse to use improvement grants to install baths, inside toilets and hot water, to purchase the houses compulsorily and provide these amenities themselves.
§ Mr. Ross
Section 23 of the Housing Act, 1964, empowers Scottish local authorities to acquire tenements in order 1174 to improve the houses in them. They also have a general power under Part V of the Housing (Scotland) Act, 1950, to provide accommodation by acquiring and improving individual houses.
§ Mr. Manuel
Is my right hon. Friend perfectly certain that the 1964 Act allows local authorities compulsorily to acquire houses for modernisation where the landlord refuses to do so? Is he aware that if we can get local authorities to modernise structurally sound buildings, we will ultimately save many hundreds of thousands of pounds in local rates and national taxation?