HC Deb 23 July 1973 vol 860 cc311-2W
Mr. Marks

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what guidance he has given to local authorities in making discretionary house improvement grants for houses which possess all the standard amenities.

Mr. Channon

Local authorities have full powers of discretion as to whether or not a house improvement grant should be made in any particular case. The Government have, however, encouraged local authorities to make full use of their powers to award these grants so as to bring older houses—whether or not they already possess all the standard amenities—up to a decent modern condition whenever it is practicable and economic to do so, where such improvements would meet local housing needs and where the improvements would not have been carried out without a grant. The Housing Act 1969 stipulates, however, that where, after a standard grant has been made towards the cost of installing the basic amenities, an improvement grant is made for the same dwelling, the grant limit shall be reduced by the amount of the earlier grant. I intend to give further advice to local authorities shortly about proposals contained in the White Paper" Better Homes—The Next Priorities "which they may wish to take into account in the exercise of their discretionary powers.