HC Deb 30 June 1971 vol 820 cc383-4
21. Mr. Deakins

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will issue a circular to local authorities with a view to placing applicants on their housing waiting lists in centrally determined categories based on degree of priority, and to publicise locally the criteria used to assess priority so that potential applicants in housing need can assess their eligibility for, and chance of obtaining, local authority accommodation.

Mr. Channon

Advice on these matters was given in the Central Housing Advisory Committee Report, "Council Housing: Purposes, Procedures and Priorities", a copy of which was sent to all housing authorities in November, 1969, with a circular generally commending it to them.

Mr. Deakins

Since the Minister in a previous answer has admitted that many people are in housing need but are not on local authority waiting lists, surely the purpose of that circular has not been fully served. Should not a further circular go out to ensure that all people in housing need will be able to assess their eligibility for, and chance of, obtaining local authority accommodation?

Mr. Channon

I will consider the point about a further circular, but, as the right hon. Member for Grimsby (Mr. Crosland) has just pointed out, these are matters for the local authority. It is for a local authority to decide on the appropriate criteria to be applied to people on waiting lists in the light of local needs, and these criteria vary greatly.