Amendments proposed to the Housing Bill, As Amended - continued House of Commons

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Empty homes management orders

   

Mr David Kidney

NC15

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   A local housing authority has the power to make an empty homes management order in respect of any house to which this section applies.

    (2)   The appropriate national authority may by order prescribe—

      (a) the types of house which can be subject to the order;

      (b) the procedure for making and operating the order;

      (c) the conditions and duration of the order;

      (d) the general effect of the order;

      (e) the responsibilities of the local housing authority whilst the order is in force; and

      (f) the procedure for varying, revoking and appealing the order.'.


Empty homes

   

Mr John Hayes
Mr Robert Syms [R]
Mr Hugo Swire

NC16

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   In this Part—

    "empty home" means a property that has remained unoccupied for more than six months and/or has not been used for its intended purpose for more than six months.

    "intended purpose" means the use for which the property was originally built or a use as specified in building regulations issued as a result of successful application for planning permission.

    (2)   The Secretary of State shall, by regulation, introduce a national model for a voluntary leasing scheme for empty homes.

    (3)   A local authority will be able to serve an empty homes management order on an empty property as an alternative to enforced sales procedures and compulsory purchase orders.

    (4)   The appropriate national authority will be required to provide guidance to local authorities on:

      (a) the operation of empty home management orders;

      (b) appropriate training for staff for the effective use of empty home management orders;

      (c) appropriate staff numbers for the effective use of empty home management orders;

      (d) likely costs and budgeting of and for such a scheme.

    (5)   Each local housing authority must maintain and yearly publish an empty homes plan. This will consist of:

      (a) figures showing the number of empty homes within its area of jurisdiction;

      (b) figures showing the number of empty homes brought back into use within the last 12 months within its area of jurisdiction;

      (c) its target for the number of empty homes that it intends to bring back into use in the next 12 months within the area of its jurisdiction;

      (d) how (c) will be accomplished and how (a), (b) and (c) relate to its plans for regeneration and renewal for the area of their jurisdiction.

    (6)   This section will apply to all empty homes owned by housing associations, buy-to-let landlords and private owners.'.


Housing ombudsman for students

   

Mr John Hayes
Mr Robert Syms [R]
Mr Hugo Swire

NC17

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   For the purpose of the investigation of complaints made about landlords by students, there shall be an office of Housing Ombudsman for Students.

    (2)   The Housing Ombudsman for Students will be appointed by the Secretary of State.

    (3)   An appropriate code of conduct for the Housing Ombudsman for Students will be established by regulations by the Secretary of State.

    (4)   The Secretary of State will, by regulation, make provision about the investigation by the Housing Ombudsman for Students of complaints made about landlords by students.

    (5)   Regulations under subsection (4) will make provision about—

      (a) the matters about which complaints may be made;

      (b) the grounds on which a matter will be excluded from investigation, including that the matter is the subject of court proceedings or was the subject of court proceedings where judgment on the merits was given;

      (c) the description of individual who may make a complaint;

      (d) a power of the Housing Ombudsman for Students to investigate any complaint made (whether the complaint is subsequently withdrawn or not), and, where he investigates, the making of a determination;

      (e) a power of the Housing Ombudsman for Students to propose alternative methods of resolving a dispute;

      (f) the powers of the Housing Ombudsman for Students for the purposes of his investigations (including powers to consult and co-operate with other persons), and the procedures to be followed in the conduct of investigations;

      (g) the powers of the Housing Ombudsman for Students on making a determination, which may include power—

      (i) to make recommendations as to action to be taken to remedy any injustice to the person aggrieved and to prevent any similar injustice being caused in the future,

      (ii) to make orders with regard to the payment of compensation or to order that a person is not to exercise, or require the performance of, certain rights or obligations, and

      (iii) to publish statements, or to make orders requiring the publication of statements, that a person has failed to comply with an order mentioned in sub-paragraph (ii);

      (h) the manner in which determinations are to be—

      (i) communicated to the complainant and the person against whom the complaint was made; and

      (ii) published (with or without excisions).

    (6)   Regulations under this section may contain such supplementary, incidental, consequential or transitional provisions and savings as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.

    (7)   Regulations under this section may make different provision for different cases or descriptions of case.'.


Market Plan for right to buy sales

   

Mr John Hayes
Mr Robert Syms [R]
Mr Hugo Swire

NC18

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   To monitor sales resulting from right to buy, local authorities will be required to formulate and publish publicly a yearly marketing plan for right to buy sales.

    (2)   The marketing plan will include:

      (a) figures on the number of properties sold through the right to buy scheme in the last 12 months;

      (b) a target figure for the number of properties to be sold through the right to buy scheme in the coming 12 months;

      (c) plans for how to achieve (b).'.


Regulations for park homes

   

Mr John Hayes
Mr Robert Syms [R]
Mr Hugo Swire

NC19

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   Democratically constituted residents' associations should be recognised by landlords.

    (2)   The procurement of new homes, supply of energy and capital items associated with individual homes, should be available on open market terms and home owners should not be required to purchase solely from the park owner.

    (3)   The appropriate national authority may, through secondary legislation, add to the terms of the Mobile Homes Act issuing extra items to the implied terms of the agreement.

    (4)   The Caravan Sites Act 1968 should be amended to follow the terms of legislation giving protection against harassment and illegal eviction to private rented tenants.

    (5)   The licensee of the site should meet the relevant fitness standards as set out in section 76.

    (6)   The relevant local authority sites should be subject to licence conditions where they are currently exempt.'.


Accessible housing registers for the disabled

   

Mr John Hayes
Mr Robert Syms [R]
Mr Hugo Swire

NC20

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   Each local housing authority must maintain an "accessible housing register".

    (2)   The housing register must outline—

      (a) Current and proposed accessible residential properties in the local authority area (whether purpose-built or adapted) with details of the access features relating to each property; and

      (b) The provisions available for disabled people who require accessible housing,

    (3)   For the purpose of this section "accessible residential properties" means dwellings, flats and HMOs which provide a reasonable means of access and ease of use for disabled people, or which may be easily adapted to provide such access and ease of use.

    (4)   The appropriate national authority may give guidance to local housing authorities about exercising their functions under this section.'.


Warm homes

   

Mr John Hayes
Mr Robert Syms [R]
Mr Hugo Swire

NC21

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   The appropriate national authority shall issue guidance for the improvement of existing HMOs and the implementation in future housing stock (where possible) of—

      (a) installation of products manufactured for cavity walls, loft or underfloor insulation, external and internal wall cladding and draft proofing

      (b) Greater control of domestic heating systems, low emissivity glazing and efficient fitting of pipes and plumbing.

    (2)   The local housing authority should seek to act in accordance with subsection 1 and with the Sustainable Energy Act 2003.'.


Employment agents (gangmasters)

   

Mr John Hayes
Mr Robert Syms [R]
Mr Hugo Swire

NC22

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   "Gangmaster" is defined as a person who engages (whether directly, or through his workers or agents) in the supply of an individual ("gang worker") to do work particularly in either

      (a) the agricultural sector;

      (b) packaging or processing consumable produce

      (c) the building industry

      (d) the catering and hotel sector

    (2)   Any such "Gangmaster(s)" engaged in the provision of "gang workers" as outlined in (1) must register their activities and the nature of their activities with the local housing authority, the local constabulary and the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, regardless of whether or not they are responsible for the provision of accommodation for "gang workers"

    (3)   Any "Gangmaster" who is a landlord or who has any commercial connection to the provision of housing for migrant workers, or any associated landlord who is engaged in the provision of accommodation of migrant workers must register details of the workers circumstances with the housing authority to include;

      (a) The stated nature of their employment

      (b) The intended duration of their employment

      (c) Their country of origin

      (d) The details and addresses of their accommodation

    (4)   Any housing stock or appurtenances associated with the activities of "Gangmasters" must be inspected by the local housing authority at least twice yearly.'.

 
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Prepared 11 May 2004