Housing Associations — [Albert Owen in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:14 pm on 12th June 2019.

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Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 4:14 pm, 12th June 2019

My hon. Friend is quite right. As I said earlier, the serious detriment test is one of the hurdles that need to be passed before there is intervention. We have asked in the Green Paper whether this is at the appropriate level. I would just point out that there is a difference between detriment and harm. In a situation where there is the threat of serious harm, local authorities have powers to step in and do the work that is required to deal with any immediate threat to safety or life. We have enhanced the housing health and safety rating system assessment tool, which local authorities can use when they look at a particular property in order to detect whether there is a particular harm that will allow them to intervene. That has been very pertinent to safety, particularly on the cladding issue that we have been dealing with over the past few weeks. We expanded the test to cover the envelope of a building, so that the local authority can make such an assessment.