§ 72. Mr. Wheeldon
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether his regulations under the Housing Act, 1949, permit a local authority to make an improvement grant to an owner-occupier who proposes to improve his property by the installation of a bathroom.
§ Mr. Marples
Yes, provided that the statutory conditions and the prescribed standard as regards structural condition and amenity are satisfied. The standard was laid down in a Circular issued in 1949 and has remained unchanged ever since. My right hon. Friend is at present considering how it can be made less rigid in its operation.
§ Mr. Gower
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he is aware that many local authorities are reluctant to make the grants for modernisation and improvements under the Housing Act, 1949; and what steps he will take to enable such local authorities to implement the provisions of this Act more fully.
§ Mr. H. Macmillan
I have no power to compel local authorities to make these grants. They can be administered successfully only with the local authorities' good will. The scope of these operations needs to be extended or many houses structurally sound will become slums prematurely. I am confident that I can persuade local authorities to share this view. I propose to issue fresh guidance to them on this matter.
§ Mr. Gower
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government how many applications for modernisation or improvement grants under the Housing Act, 1949, have been approved in England and Wales, respectively; and how many such applications have been approved in the county of Glamorgan.