§ Lord St. John of Fawsley
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they have any proposals to amend the housing defects provisions now that the scheme has been under way for four years.
The Minister of State, Department of the Environment (The Earl of Caithness)
We have been monitoring the working of the housing defects legislation since it came into force in December 1984. This has enabled us to identify some proposals, of a mainly technical nature, which might help streamline the day to day operation of the scheme. The main suggestions are that local authorities should be free to pay owners reinstatement grant at whatever level local authorities believe is justified under the housing defects rules, but with a revised degree of Exchequer contribution; and that there could be scope for grant aided demolition and rebuild of individual properties in specific circumstances. The department's officials are writing to the local authority associations, homeowners' goups and other bodies known to have an interest in the housing defects scheme, to seek their views on these possible changes; the Welsh Office are taking similar action. Copies of the department's letter are being placed in the Library.