§ Mr. Chris Smith
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he intends to take any action to enable London boroughs to reduce the use of bed-and-breakfast accommodation; and whether he intends to propose legislation which will ensure that conditions in these hotels are satisfactory and safe.
§ Sir George Young
It is for individual authorities to decide on their own housing priorities within the resources available to them. The Government will continue to encourage them to concentrate resources on capital provision for those in greatest housing need, including the homeless, and to minimise the use of bed-and-breakfast accommodation. We have encouraged also the use of empty property and I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge (Mr. Shersby) on 22 November, at column 284.441W
Authorities have ample powers to ensure satisfactory conditions amenities and safety in houses in multiple occupation. The need for further measures will be considered in the light of the outcome of the Department's current research into the use and condition of such accommodation.