HC Deb 19 December 1984 vol 70 c196W
Mr. Alton

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he intends to take, under the Housing Act 1974, against authorities which have declared and established housing action areas but have subsequently not provided a full home improvement grant to owners of properties in such areas.

Sir George Young

My right hon. Friend has no powers to take such action. It is for individual local authorities to decide how much to allocate to home improvement grants from within the total resources available to them.

Mr. Stuart Holland

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what services residents of housing action areas and general improvement areas can normally expect as a result of their declaration and over what period; and what are the overall objectives of such declarations.

Sir George Young

The overall objectives are to secure a significant improvement in resident's living conditions by concentrating resources within defined areas. Special measures available to local authorities are powers to carry out or assist environmental works, powers of compulsory acquisition and improvement, enhanced rates of improvement grant and, in HAAs, enveloping. General improvement areas have no time limit, but local authorities are expected to consider termination when conditions are substantially improved. HAAs have a five-year life; this duration may be extended for two years, provided my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State does not intervene.