HC Deb 08 July 1977 vol 934 cc1706-8
Mr. Stephen Ross

I beg to move Amendment No. 31, in page 4, line 1, leave out from 'authority' to 'the' in line 4 and insert— '(a) request—

  1. (i) another housing authority;
  2. (ii) the Greater London Council;
  3. (iii) a development corporation;
  4. (iv) the Commission for the New Towns;
  5. (v) a registered Housing Association; or
  6. (vi)'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this it will be convenient to take the following Amendments:

No. 32, in page 4, line 7, after '(b)', insert 'request'.

No. 33, in page 4, line 11, leave out from begining to 'shall' in line 13 and insert 'they'.

No. 48, in Clause 11, page 7, line 22, at end insert— development corporation" means—

  1. (a)in England or Wales, a development corporation established under the New Towns Act 1965, and
  2. (b)in Scotland, a development corporation established under the New Towns (Scotland) Act 1968;'

No. 50, in page 7, line 28, at end insert— '"registered housing association" means a housing association registered in the register of housing associations established under section 13 of the Housing Act 1974;'

4.30 p.m.

Mr. Ross

These amendments are brought forward in fulfilment of an undertaking given in Committee relating to new towns. The Committee discussed the rôle of bodies responsible for the towns—development corporations and the Commission for the New Towns. It was agreed that it was wrong to duplicate responsibility within one geographical area. As the nature of their responsibilities was different from that of local housing authorities, it was inappropriate that the corporations and the Commission should have the same duties towards the homeless as the Bill places on housing authorities. However, it was agreed that they should be required to co-operate with housing authorities by rendering such reasonable assistance as they could when requested so to do.

The new town development corporations could help by making reciprocal arrangements with housing authorities for dealing with homelessness in their towns and by making accommodation available to people becoming homeless in an exporting area who wish to start life in a new town.

The Commission for the New Towns has been included because, although the bulk of the housing stock that it controls is to be transferred to housing authorities on 1st April 1978, it will retain some nomination rights. Therefore, it may be able to make a useful contribution.

The amendment includes registered housing associations, as agreed in Committee, but it does not include the Housing Corporation, which, by amendment in Committee, was placed under the duty to co-operate. In practice, there is little that the Corporation can do to assist in securing accommodation for homeless people. It has powers to build houses, but in practice only housing associations have accommodation which could be made available. The Corporation has no nomination rights. Therefore, in practice it would not seem appropirate to include it.

The definitions are technical and formal but necessary. As they are in compliance with an undertaking given in Committee, I hope that the House will accept the amendments.

Mr. Rossi

I should like to express my thanks to the hon. Member for the Isle of Wight (Mr. Ross) for complying with the undertaking that was given in Committee.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments made: No. 32, in page 4, tine 7, after '(b)', insert 'request'.

No. 33, in page 4, line 11, leave out from beginning to 'shall' in line 13 and insert 'they'.

No. 34, in page 4, line 16, leave out subsection (2) and insert— '(2) Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) above shall have effect in relation to a housing authority and the Greater London Council as if the references to sections 2 and 3 above in that subsection included a reference to section (Duty of housing authorities to provide temporary protection for movable property) above.'.—[Mr. Stephen Ross.]

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