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(1)A local authority within the meaning of Part III. of the principal Act, or a county council, may promote the formation or extension of or, subject to the provisions of this section, assist a public utility society whose objects include the erection, improvement or management of houses for the working classes, and where such a society is desirous of erecting houses for the working classes which, in the opinion of the Local Government Board, are required, and the local authority of the area in which the houses are proposed to be built are unwilling to acquire land with a view to selling or leasing the same to the society, the county council, on the application of the society, may for this purpose acquire land and exercise all the powers of a local authority under the Housing Acts in regard to the acquisition and disposal of land, and the provisions of those Acts as to the acquisition of land by local authorities within the meaning of Part III. of the principal Act shall apply accordingly.
(2)Any such local authority or county council with the consent of, and subject to any regulations or conditions which may be made or imposed by, the Local Government Board may, for the assistance of such a society—
(a)make grants or loans to the society ;
(b)subscribe for any share or loan capital of the society ;
(c)guarantee or join in guaranteeing the payment of interest on money borrowed by the society or of any share or loan capital issued by the society ;
on such terms and conditions as to rate of interest and repayment or otherwise and on such security as the local authority or council think fit, and, notwithstanding the provisions of section four of the Industrial and Provident Societies Act, 1893, where a local authority or county council assist such a society under this subsection, the local authority or council shall not be prevented from having or claiming an interest in the shares of the society exceeding two hundred pounds.
(3)Any expenses incurred by a local authority (other than the London County Council) under the provisions of this section shall be defrayed in the same manner as the expenses of the local authority under Part III. of the principal Act, and the raising of money for the purpose of making grants or loans to or subscribing for the capital of a society under this section shall be a purpose for which the authority may borrow under that Part of that Act.
(4)Any expenses incurred by a county council under this section shall be defrayed as expenses for general county purposes, and the raising of money for the purpose of making grants or loans to or subscribing for the capital of a society under this section shall be a purpose for which the council may borrow; provided that, where money is borrowed by the county council for that purpose, the maximum period for repayment shall be fifty years, and as respects money so borrowed fifty years shall be substituted for thirty years in subsection (5) of section sixty-nine of the Local Government Act, 1888.
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