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Housing Act 1974

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Grants by local authorities

56Grants for provision, improvement and repair of dwellings

(1)Grants of the descriptions specified in subsection (2) below shall be payable by local authorities in accordance with the following provisions of this Part of this Act towards the cost of works required for—

(a)the provision of dwellings by the conversion of houses or other buildings,

(b)the improvement of dwellings,

(c)the repair of dwellings, and

(d)the improvement of houses in multiple occupation by the provision of standard amenities,

where the provision, improvement or repair is by a person other than a housing authority.

(2)The grants referred to in subsection (1) above are—

(a)an " improvement grant" in respect of works required for the provision of a dwelling (as mentioned in paragraph (a) of that subsection) or for the improvement of a dwelling or, in the case of a registered disabled person, works required for his welfare, accommodation or employment where the existing dwelling is inadequate or unsuitable for those purposes, not being works falling entirely within paragraph (b) below;

(b)an " intermediate grant" in respect of works required for the improvement of a dwelling by the provision of standard amenities which it lacks or which in the case of a registered disabled person are inaccessible to that person by virtue of his disability;

(c)a " special grant" in respect of works required for the improvement of a house in multiple occupation by the provision of standard amenities; and

(d)a "repairs grant" in respect of works of repair or replacement relating to a dwelling in a housing action area or a general improvement area, not being works associated with other works required for the provision (as mentioned in subsection (1)(a) above) or improvement of the dwelling.

(3)Except in a case where a local authority exercise their power under subsection (4) below, they shall not entertain—

(a)an application for an improvement grant in respect of works required for the provision of a dwelling by the conversion of a house or other building which was erected after 2nd October 1961; or

(b)an application for any grant for the improvement or repair of a dwelling which was provided after that date.

(4)Notwithstanding the prohibition in subsection (3) above, but subject to such general or special directions as may from time to time be given by the Secretary of State, where an application is made which falls within paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) of that subsection, the local authority to whom it is made may entertain the application if they consider it appropriate to do so.

57General provisions relating to applications for grants

(1)No grant shall be paid by a local authority unless an application therefor is made to the Authority in accordance with the provisions of this Part of this Act.

(2)An application for a grant shall—

(a)specify the premises to which the application relates ;

(b)contain particulars of the works in respect of which the grant is sought (in this Part of this Act referred to as " the relevant works ") and an estimate of their cost; and

(c)contain such other particulars as may for the time being be specified by the Secretary of State.

(3)Subject to section 83 below, a local authority shall not entertain an application for a grant unless they are satisfied that the applicant has, in every parcel of land on which the relevant works are to be or have been carried out, an interest which is either an estate in fee simple absolute in possession or a term of years absolute of which not less than 5 years remain unexpired at the date of the application.

(4)If the Secretary of State has given directions for the purposes of this subsection, either to local authorities generally or to a particular local authority, applying to any application for an improvement grant or an intermediate grant which is of a description specified in the directions, a local authority affected by the directions shall not approve an application to which they apply except with the consent of the Secretary of State; and any such consent may be given generally or with respect to a particular authority or with respect to a particular description of application.

(5)A local authority may not approve an application for a grant if the relevant works have been begun unless they are satisfied that there were good reasons for beginning those works before the application was approved.

(6)Except in so far as this Act otherwise provides, a local authority may not entertain an application for a grant if the relevant works are or include—

(a)works which were the relevant works in relation to an application which has previously been approved under this Part of this Act; or

(b)works which were specified in an application for a grant under Part I of the Housing Act 1969 which was approved,

and the applicant for the grant is, or is the personal representative of, the person who made the earlier application.

(7)If, after an application for a grant has been approved by a local authority, the authority are satisfied that owing to circumstances beyond the control of the applicant the relevant works will not be carried out on the basis of the estimate contained in the application, they may, on receiving a further estimate, redetermine the estimated expense in relation to the grant and make such other adjustments relating to the amount of the grant as appear to them to be appropriate, but the amount of a grant shall not be increased by virtue of this subsection beyond the amount which could have been notified as the amount of the grant when the application was approved if the estimate contained in the application had been for the same amount as the further estimate.

58Standard amenities

(1)Subject to subsection (2) below, the " standard amenities" for the purposes of this Part of this Act are the amenities which are described in the first column of Part I of Schedule 6 to this Act and which conform to such of the provisions of Part II of that Schedule as are applicable.

(2)The Secretary of State may by order vary the provisions of Schedule 6 to this Act and any such order may contain such transitional or other supplemental provisions as appear to the Secretary of State to be expedient.

59Appropriate percentage

(1)In this Part of this Act " the appropriate percentage " (which is relevant for determining the amount, or the maximum amount, of any grant) shall be determined according to whether, on the date on which the application for the grant concerned is approved, the premises to which the application relates are in a housing action area, a general improvement area or neither and, subject to the following provisions of this section, the appropriate percentage is—

(a)in a case where those premises are on that date in a housing action area, 75 per cent.;

(b)in a case where those premises are on that date in a general improvement area, 60 per cent.; and

(c)in any other case, 50 per cent.

(2)If, in the case of premises which are in a housing action area on the date on which the application for the grant concerned is approved, it appears to the local authority by whom the application is approved that the applicant will not without undue hardship be able to finance the cost of so much of the relevant works as is not met by the grant, they may treat the appropriate percentage as increased to such percentage not exceeding 90 per cent. as they think fit.

(3)If, at any time after an application for a grant has been approved but before the relevant works have been begun, an area which includes the land on which the premises concerned are situated is declared to be a housing action area or a general improvement area, the local authority by whom the application was approved shall allow the application to be withdrawn with a view to enabling the applicant to make a further application for a grant.

(4)The Secretary of State may by order made with the consent of the Treasury vary all or any of the percentages specified in subsections (1) and (2) above, and any such variation shall have effect with respect to applications for grants approved after such date as may be specified in the order.

(5)An order under subsection (4) above—

(a)shall not be made unless a draft thereof has been approved by a resolution of the Commons House of Parliament; and

(b)shall not specify a date earlier than the date of the laying of the draft.

60Certificates of future occupation

(1)Subject to section 83 below, a local authority shall not entertain an application for a grant other than a special grant unless the application is accompanied by a certificate under this section as to future occupation of the dwelling or,

as the case may be, each of the dwellings for the provision, improvement or repair of which the grant is sought.

(2)A certificate of future occupation shall be either a certificate of owner-occupation under subsection (3) or subsection (4) below or a certificate of availability for letting under subsection (5) below.

(3)Subject to subsection (4) below, for the purposes of this Part of this Act a " certificate of owner-occupation " is a certificate stating that the applicant for the grant intends that, on or before the first anniversary of the certified date and throughout the period of 4 years beginning on that first anniversary, the dwelling will be his only or main residence and will be occupied exclusively by himself and members of his household (if any).

(4)For the purposes of this Part of this Act, in a case where an application for a grant is made by the personal representatives of a deceased person or by trustees, a "certificate of owner-occupation" is a certificate stating that the applicants are personal representatives or trustees and intend that, on or before the first anniversary of the certified date and throughout the period of 4 years beginning on that first anniversary, the dwelling will be the only or main residence of, and exclusively occupied by, a person who, under the will or intestacy or, as the case may require, under the terms of the trust, is beneficially entitled to an interest in the dwelling or the proceeds of sale thereof and members of his household (if any).

(5)For the purposes of this Part of this Act a "certificate of availability for letting " is a certificate stating that the applicant for the grant intends that, throughout the period of 5 years beginning with the certified date,—

(a)the dwelling will be let or available for letting as a residence, and not for a holiday, to a person other than a member of the applicant's family ; or

(b)the dwelling will be occupied or available for occupation by a member of the agricultural population in pursuance of a contract of service and otherwise than as a tenant.

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