Private Rented Housing

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Environment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th March 1977.

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Photo of Mr Reginald Freeson Mr Reginald Freeson , Brent East 12:00 am, 16th March 1977

The hon. Gentleman takes me to task for not having answered his Question. But his supplementary question does not arise either from the original Question or from the answer that I gave to it. I should make the point, which is not new, that squatting, homelessness and empty properties did not suddenly come into existence after the passage of the Rent Act 1974. [HON. MEMBERS: "It made them worse."] There is no evidence to suggest that the Act made the situation worse. Perhaps I may make the point again, not for the first time, that the biggest annual decrease in rented housing during this century occurred when there was decontrol of properties in 1957. The figures rose to over 200,000 a year compared with the current average of 100,000.