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Overcrowding

Oral Answers to Questions — Housing – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 19th November 1957.

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Photo of Mr Charles Gibson Mr Charles Gibson , Wandsworth Clapham 12:00 am, 19th November 1957

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what powers are enjoyed under his Regulations by local authorities to deal with the overcrowding of houses by landlords who exploit the housing needs of coloured immigrants in London.

Photo of Mr Henry Brooke Mr Henry Brooke , Hampstead

Section 90 of the Housing Act, 1957, empowers local authorities—in London both the London County Council and the metropolitan borough councils—to serve notices upon landlords fixing, at their discretion, the number of people who may sleep in a room. Appeal lies to the county court.

Photo of Mr Charles Gibson Mr Charles Gibson , Wandsworth Clapham

In view of the difficulties which this problem is creating in some of our towns, will the right hon. Gentleman call the attention of local authorities to these powers and ask them not to wait until complaints are made by white people, which is what they are doing at the moment?

Photo of Mr Henry Brooke Mr Henry Brooke , Hampstead

The hon. Member himself has a local authority background. These are discretionary powers already enjoyed by local authorities, who do not, I think, need any direction from me.

Photo of Mr Gilbert Mitchison Mr Gilbert Mitchison , Kettering

Has the right hon. Gentleman any suggestion to make to local authorities as to where the surplus occupants of overcrowded houses are to live?

Photo of Mr Henry Brooke Mr Henry Brooke , Hampstead

That is clearly something which a local authority must take into account when considering the exercise of its powers.