HC Deb 18 May 1965 vol 712 cc197-8W
44. Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he has received the communication from the hon. Member for West Ham, under reference DGB concerning the rent of £8 10s. 0d. per week and key-money of £79, charged to a tenant for insanitary accommodation and the desire of the local council to purchase compulsorily this property under the 1957 Act when he will give his decision on the inquiry held in January last; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Crossman

I am anxious that relief should be given as soon as possible to tenants facing exorbitant rents. The compulsory purchase powers under the Housing Act, 1957, are available where a tenant is threatened with homelessness as a result of a demand for an exorbitant rent. The Protection from Eviction Act, 1964, provides additional interim safeguards for tenants, but the real answer to this problem will be provided by the Rent Bill and I intend to establish the machinery for fixing fair rents as soon as possible.

I shall issue my decision on the compulsory purchase order to which my hon. Friend refers in the next few days.