HC Deb 11 March 1980 vol 980 cc490-1W
39. Mr. Wilkinson

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will initiate discussions with the representatives of local authorities to relax the residence criteria required for Service men to be allocated local authority housing at the termination of their engagements in the Armed Forces.

Mr. Hayhoe

The allocation of council houses is entirely within the discretion of the local authorities. The Department of the Environment circular issued in 1975 urged local authorities to recognise the difficulties which retiring servicemen may face and not to insist on residential and employment qualifications before acceptance on their housing lists. This recommendation is drawn to the attention of specific authorities on appropriate occasions. While the majority of local authorities abide by the guidance given, there are, I am afraid, a few who do not. We continue to press such authorities in the hope that they will take a more sympathetic view.