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asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what reply he has sent to the letter from the Wood Green Council asking him to consider allowing local authorities to retain temporary houses on open spaces for a further period beyond that specified in the Housing Repairs and Rents Act, 1954.
My right hon. Friend has informed the council that he would be averse to any further extension of the period for which temporary houses are allowed to occupy land taken from open space; and that he has no amending legislation in mind.
Does the Parliamentary Secretary not feel that it is unreasonable that local authorities whose temporary houses are not on public open spaces are being encouraged by the Minister to purchase those houses, to use them for housing old people and in other ways, whilst authorities such as Wood Green are being compelled to dismantle perfectly good temporary houses when there is still an acute housing shortage?
No, Sir; with respect to the hon. Member, the two propositions are rather different. This was a temporary expedient, and we do not want open spaces to be permanently occupied by temporary houses. I think the hon. Lady will agree that the majority of the houses in Wood Green still have about seven or eight years to run.