Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page


Lord Williams of Elvel: I am grateful to the noble Lord for the 60 per cent. reassurance. That is important. On other matters I have serious doubts about whether the Explanatory and Financial Memorandum is right and that there will be funds available from Part I in order to pay for relocation grants. Nevertheless, in the light of the noble Lord's explanation, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 231 not moved.]

Clause 126 agreed to.

Clause 127 [Relocation grants: applications and payments]:

[Amendment No. 232 not moved.]

Clause 127 agreed to.

Clause 128 [Relocation grants: qualifying persons and qualifying dwellings]:

10.15 p.m.

The Deputy Chairman of Committees (

Lord McColl of Dulwich): In calling Amendment No. 233, I should point out that if it is agreed to, I cannot call Amendment No. 234.

Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 233:


Page 74, line 35, leave out from ("be,") to end of line 36 and insert ("acquired by the local housing authority under section 290 of the Housing Act 1985 or section 154 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990;").

1 Apr 1996 : Column 117

The noble Lord said: In moving this amendment I wish to speak at the same time to Amendments Nos. 235 to 239 and to make reference to Amendment No. 234 which stands in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Williams.

Amendments Nos. 233 and 235 to 239 are to make clear that relocation grants may be payable whether properties in clearance areas or surrounding lands are acquired compulsorily or by agreement. As currently worded, Clause 128(1)(a) provides that a person is a qualifying person for the purposes of eligibility for relocation grant if among other things he has an interest in a dwelling in the clearance area which has been, or is to be, compulsorily acquired. The definition of "compulsory acquisition" in subsection (6) of Clause 128 was intended to encompass all acquisitions, whether compulsory or by agreement, under Section 290 of the Housing Act 1985 or Section 154 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. However, we feel that the provisions are open to misinterpretation and that it would be best to clarify the situation. With that explanation, I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Williams, will see that we have succeeded in incorporating the intent of Amendment No. 234.

Lord Williams of Elvel: I am grateful to the noble Lord. He is quite right. He has subsumed my Amendment No. 234, which I shall not be moving.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 234 not moved.]

Lord Lucas moved Amendments Nos. 235 to 239:


Page 75, line 10, leave out from ("be,") to end of line 11 and insert ("acquired by the local housing authority under section 290 of the Housing Act 1985 or section 154 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.").
Page 75, line 13, leave out ("a compulsory") and insert ("an").
Page 75, line 22, leave out ("compulsorily").
Page 75, line 23, leave out ("a compulsory") and insert ("an").
Page 75, leave out lines 27 to 30.

The noble Lord said: I spoke to these amendments with Amendment No. 233. I beg to move.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 28, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 129 [Relocation grants: amount]:

Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 240:


Page 75, line 33, leave out ("and (3)") and insert ("to (3A)").

The noble Lord said: In moving this amendment I wish to speak at the same time to Amendments Nos. 241 to 249, 251, 264 and 266.

Amendments Nos. 240 to 247 are to clarify the rules for determining the maximum amount of relocation grant which may be paid and to bring the rules for applying the means test more closely into line with those which apply for renovation grants. In particular, those who are displaced by clearance activity will be required to put the compensation they receive for the loss of their old home towards the cost of buying their new one.

Amendments Nos. 248 and 249 make minor changes to the rules governing the repayment of grant when one of the grant conditions is breached. Amendment No. 248

1 Apr 1996 : Column 118

has the effect that the grant will not have to be repaid where the property is passed on under a will or intestacy to someone who lived with the deceased person throughout the 12 months ending with the date of his death. Indeed, that was our intention in drafting the Bill but Amendment No. 248 as originally drafted required an impossibility, which was that the new tenant should have lived with the deceased after his death.

Amendment No. 249 is to deter someone who wishes to move out of his home within five years of the purchase from escaping his obligation to repay grant by first selling the property to a member of his family. In these cases the grant repayment condition will become binding on the new owner and the same will apply if a person passes on his property under a will or intestacy.

Amendment No. 251 clarifies the definition of "owner" for the purpose of the relocation grant provisions by explaining the meaning of "net annual value", which is used in that definition. Amendment No. 264 ensures that only those provisions in Clauses 122 to 124 of Part IV of the Bill will extend to Scotland. Clause 125 has no relevance to Scotland. I understand that any decision whether to introduce relocation grants north of the Border will be taken when Ministers there come to reform the improvement and repairs grant system, at which time they will also review associated statutory powers.

Finally, we intend to bring the provisions of the relocation grants into force on 1st April next year. Amendment No. 266, when read with Clause 144(3), will enable us to apply for that day by order of the Secretary of State. I beg to move.

Lord Skelmersdale: I was listening to my noble friend and I became slightly confused. I believe he said that if the grant is payable on the old home, it should be used in conjunction with the new home. That is fine when a home is bought and owned the second time around. What happens if it is a rented home?

Lord Lucas: Then no grant is payable. The grant is payable solely for the purpose of enabling someone to buy a new home.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Lucas moved Amendments Nos. 241 to 247:


Page 75, line 37, leave out from ("exceed") to end of line 39 and insert ("the difference between--
(a) the cost of acquiring the qualifying dwelling to which the application relates; and
(b) such part as may be prescribed of the amount which has been, or is to be, paid by the authority in respect of the acquisition of the applicant's interest in the original dwelling.
(3A) If the financial resources of the applicant exceed the applicable amount, the amount of any grant which may be paid shall, in accordance with regulations, be reduced from what it would otherwise have been.").
Page 75, line 40, after third ("the") insert ("qualifying").
Page 76, line 1, leave out from beginning to ("for") in line 2 and insert ("Provision may be made by regulations--
(a)")
Page 76, line 4, at end insert--

1 Apr 1996 : Column 119


("(b) for the determination of the applicable amount referred to in subsection (3A), and
(c) as to circumstances in which the financial resources of an applicant are to be assumed (by reason of his receiving a prescribed benefit or otherwise) not to exceed the applicable amount.").
Page 76, line 5, leave out ("under subsection (5)").
Page 76, line 13, leave out ("under that subsection").
Page 76, line 15, at end insert--
("( ) In this section--
"the original dwelling" has the same meaning as in section 128;
"regulations" means regulations made by the Secretary of State with the consent of the Treasury.").

The noble Lord said: I have spoken to these amendments. I beg to move.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 129, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 130 [Relocation grants: condition for repayment on disposal]:

Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 248:


Page 76, line 45, leave out ("disposal") and insert ("deceased's death").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 130, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 131 [Relocation grants: conditions as to owner-occupation]:

Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 249:


Page 77, line 25, leave out subsection (6) and insert--
("(6) Subsections (5) and (6) of section 130 apply for the purposes of this section as they apply for the purposes of that section.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 131, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 132 and 133, agreed to.

Clause 134 [Relocation grants: contributions by the Secretary of State]:

[Amendment No. 250 not moved.]

Clause 134 agreed to.

Clause 135 [Minor definitions relating to relocations grants]:


Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page