§ Lord Brougham and Vaux
asked Her Majesty's Government:
When the new system of house renovation grants provided in Part VIII of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 will be brought into effect in England and Wales.
§ Lord Hesketh
My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Environment and my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Wales have considered very carefully requests by the local authority associations and others that introduction of the new system should be deferred to allow for further consultation on the test of resources regulations and to give local authorities more time to prepare for implementation.
In the light of these representations we have therefore decided that the main provisions of Part VIII of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 should be brought into effect on 1st July 1990 and not from 1st April as originally planned. From April to June the existing system of home improvement grants will remain in force.
We have, however, decided to bring into effect the new assistance for minor works on 1st April. This will enable local authorities to continue to provide help for insulation measures for those on certain state benefits, and also for certain other purposes such as repair work for the elderly.
Part VII of the 1989 Act introducing renewal areas in place of housing action areas and general improvement areas will also be brought into force on 1st April, together with a number of provisions in Part IX of the Act dealing with unfit housing.
The Department of the Environment and the Welsh Office are writing to all local housing authorities with further details of how these provisions in respect of the repair and improvement of private sector housing are to be implemented. Advice on all those provisions coming into force on 1st April will be issued shortly before then, and further advice on the new grant system will be published well before 1st July.