HL Deb 09 May 1972 vol 330 c1012WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

(i) Whether they will repeat and emphasise the statement of the Minister of Housing, reported in the Press of April 19, that local authorities should withhold discretionary improvement grants where undesirable changes are likely, e.g. speculators forcing out tenants, or developers reselling or letting at exorbitant prices often to newcomers to the area; (ii) whether they will issue a circular to local authorities pointing out the discretionary nature of improvement grants and the need to balance adverse social effects on the local community against the improvement of buildings, and urging local authorities to channel the maximum improvement aid through responsible housing associations.


My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Environment has always been at pains to stress the discretion that local authorities have to decide whether to make an improvement grant in any particular case. Local authorities are already well aware of their discretion in this matter and that in coming to a decision on any application for grant they should take all aspects into consideration. It is also well known to local authorities that Her Majesty's Government fully recognises that housing associations have an essential part to play in providing and improving houses for letting and is anxious that every help and encouragement, including the payment of improvement grants or contributions where applicable, should be made available to them.