§ Mr. Robert Cooke
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he is taking and proposes to take to encourage the letting of surplus accommodation now withheld from the market in areas of housing need.
§ Mr. Eyre
The Government reaffirmed in paragraph 25 of the White Paper "Better Homes, the Next Priorities" (Cmnd. 5339) their determination that houses should not needlessly be left empty in areas of housing need. The Government will support local authorities in using their existing powers to achieve this. The White Paper announced their intention to give local authorities discretion to rate empty properties up to 100 per cent.