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Mr. Iain Wright: The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is a risk based evaluation tool to help local authorities identify and protect against potential risks and hazards to health and safety from any deficiencies identified in dwellings. It was introduced under the Housing Act 2004 and came into effect on 6 April 2006. It applies to residential properties in England.
The HHSRS assesses 29 categories of housing hazard, each hazard has a weighting which will help determine whether the property is rated as having category 1 (serious) or category 2 (other) hazards. Local authorities are responsible for the local implementation and enforcement of the HHSRS. If a property is found to contain serious hazards the local authority has a duty to take the most appropriate action in relation to the hazard.
There is a choice of enforcement options which are available to local authorities. These can involve emergency remedial action. The route followed is for the authority to decide, having regard to statutory enforcement guidance.
The Protection from Eviction Act 1977 gives local authorities the power to start legal proceedings for offences of harassment against tenants, and to prosecute if they believe an offence has been committed. In extreme cases of harassment and where the property is in poor condition, a local authority may take over the management of a house, by making it subject to a control order. A local authority also has compulsory purchase powers which it can use in certain circumstances where there is very bad harassment.
In certain circumstances a tenant may take legal action against his or her landlord for breach of the covenant for quiet enjoyment. This is a term which every tenancy agreement contains (whether set out in words or not) that the tenant should be able to enjoy his or her home in peace as a basic human right. The tenant may also have grounds on other counts according to the nature of the case.
Under the Housing Act 1988, for cases of illegal eviction and of harassment which cause a tenant to leave his or her home, the court may award damages based on the profit made by a landlord from illegally evicting the tenant.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representations she has received on people living in almshouses who were (a) living in poor conditions and (b) experiencing bullying or harassment from landlords in each of the last five years. 
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will take steps to ensure that social housing tenants who do not choose to opt into arms length management organisation schemes receive the same per capita subsidy from Government as those who do. 
Mr. Iain Wright:
The Government required local authorities owning housing stock to undertake an options appraisal to determine how they could deliver the decent
homes standard. For those authorities that considered they would not have sufficient resources to make their homes decent the Government provided three delivery options that would bring in extra resources: setting up an Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO); transferring the ownership of the homes to a registered social landlord; and entering into a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will make a statement on the first anniversary of the Prime Ministers speech of 29 November 2007 to the Thames Gateway Forum giving an assessment of the progress made on the Thames Gateway policy, with particular reference to (a) land assembly for residential development, (b) planning permission granted for residential development, (c) housing construction starts, (d) use of brown field land, (e) regeneration, (f) measures to improve the skills base, (g) commercial and industrial development and (h) transport and communications. 
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 22 July 2008, Official Report, column 1171W, on Thames Gateway: annual reports, when the hard copy version of the annual report was (a) delivered to her Department and (b) made available in the Vote Office; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Thames Gateway Annual Report was delivered to the Department for Communities and Local Government on 14 July 2008. It was laid before the House and copies were made available in the Vote Office on 15 July 2008.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many property details relating to domestic dwellings were updated as a result of a CR10 review by the Valuation Office Agency in 2007-08. 
John Healey: Individual property details are regularly updated as part of the VOA's statutory responsibility for maintaining accurate valuation lists. Exact numbers could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans the Valuation Office Agency has to revise its Charter in relation to cold-calling following the recent ruling by the Adjudication Officer on inspecting premises without making a prior appointment. 
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) of 21 April 2008, Official Report, column 1689W, on Valuation Office: Geographical Information System, if she will list the mapping products and datasets that the Valuation Office Agency will use from Ordnance Survey for the Geographical Information System; 
Code Point with Polygons
Master Map Topography layer
Address Layer 2.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 16 July 2008, Official Report, column 493W, on Valuation Office: maps, if she will place in the Library a CD-ROM containing the Valuation Office Agencys delineation of each locality in England. 
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent of 12 June 2008, Official Report, column 503W, on the Zero Carbon Delivery Unit, if she will place in the Library a copy of the business plan for the unit. 
Justine Greening: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what discussions his Department has had with the British Aggregates Association on the Opinion of 17 July of Advocate General Mengozzi of the European Court of Justice on the legality of the aggregates levy; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the legality of the aggregates levy following the comments of 17 July of Advocate General Mengozzi of the European Court of Justice on the legality of the levy. 
Mr. Timms: The Advocate Generals Opinion is designed to aid the court in reaching its decision and is a preliminary stage in the proceedings, which are continuing. Discussions with the British Aggregates Association would not be appropriate while the case continues.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the cost to the Exchequer of introducing a retirement relief on capital gains tax of (a) £100,000, (b) £250,000, (c) £500,000 and (d) £1,000,000. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the chequer pursuant to the answer of 15 July 2008, Official Report, column 230W, on council tax: valuation, what the cost to the public purse was of the work on the council tax banding support tool by CapGemini, SAS and CLT/Tyler Technologies. 
James Duddridge: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether those staff of (a) his Department and (b) its agencies who are entitled to business class or first class air travel are permitted to (i) travel in a cheaper class to the destination and (ii) benefit in monetary terms or kind from the saving. 
Angela Eagle: The travel policy in the Treasury and its agencies is for staff to use the class of travel most appropriate to business needs. Where this means staff use standard or economy tickets in preference to business or first class, they derive no benefit either monetary or in kind.
Mr. Betts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what account his Department takes of the level of energy efficiency of buildings before entering into agreements to (a) rent and (b) purchase those buildings. 
James Duddridge: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the location is of each office occupied by (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies which has been (i) newly occupied and (ii) refurbished in the last 24 months; and what the floor area in square metres is of each. 
Angela Eagle: The OGC relocated to the Treasury building in 1 Horse Guards road in October 2007. They occupy some 2000m(2) that includes space for a small number of workstations used by OGC Buying Solutions.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many notifications (a) his Department and (b) its agencies made to the Information Commissioner following the loss or mishandling of personal information or data in each of the last three years; and what was notified in each case. 
Mr. Timms: The Treasury and its agencies (DMO, OGC and OGCbuyingsolutions), in accordance with Cabinet Office guidance, did not report any personal data related incidents for the period 2007-08 to the Information Commissioners Office.
I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 25 June 2008, providing the final report on measures for data handling procedures in government.
Bob Spink: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 23 June 2008, Official Report, column 128W, on departmental home working, if he will make it his policy to collate and maintain central records of home working by his Departments staff. 
James Duddridge: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list each type of data that has been sold by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations in the last 12 months. 
Core information produced by HM Treasury and its agencies can be reused free of charge under the terms of the PSI Click-Use Licence which is administered by the Office of Public Sector Information in accordance with the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations.
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