§ 39. Mr. Jessel
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he intends to take to deal with squatting.
§ Mr. Freeson
We want to see local housing authorities get the fullest use they can of property in their districts. We have encouraged them to make use of short-life or other housing which would otherwise remain empty, and many of them now let such property to authorised organisations of licensees. But I hold no brief for unauthorised squatting in private or local authority housing which prevents owners or tenants from lawfully occupying their own home. The hon. Member may be aware that the Criminal Law Bill, introduced in another place on 30th November, proposes criminal sanctions in relation to squatting of this kind.