HC Deb 18 February 1920 vol 125 cc921-2W

asked the Minister of Health if he will state, in view of the great shortage of houses, why it is that two houses in Barry Road, London, S.K., are lying empty, and have been for years; is he aware that a large number of people are willing to rent these houses, but are unable to get them; whether there is a fictitious notice in a window of each that they are let; and whether, seeing the local authority had recently put up a notice on the buildings warning the proprietor that certain repairs must be made, he will take steps to secure power to cause unlet property under such circumstances bearing its share of local rates?


I presume that the houses to which the hon. Member refers are Nos. 231 and 233, Barry Road, Lordship Lane, in the Metropolitan Borough of Camberwell. These houses were inspected on behalf of my Department on the 17th December and found suitable for working-class dwelling, and notices under Section 28 of the Housing, Town Planning, etc., Act., 1919, were served on the owner by the Metropolitan Borough Council. These notices were not complied with, and the Borough Council subsequently made a proposal to my Department to acquire the properties. They were informed by my Department on the 21st January last that there was no objection to this course, and were recommended to make a compulsory purchase order.


asked the Minister of Health what powers local authorities possess under the Housing. (Additional Powers) Act, 1919, for increasing available housing accommodation by dealing with dwelling-houses, which are kept unoccupied, whether for the purpose of storing furniture or otherwise?


under Section 6 of the Housing (Additional Powers) Act, 1919, a person is liable to penalties if, after 3rd December, 1919, without permission in writing from the local authority, he uses otherwise than as a dwelling-house a house which is reasonably fit or is reasonably capable of being rendered fit for human habitation. I may also remind my hon. Friend of the powers possessed by local authorities under the previous Act to acquire houses which are suitable for working-class dwellings.