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· 6
The result is that practically all the habitable cottages are occupied
~ -and more than occupied. What is more, if the Rural District
, Councils exercised their authority to close all the houses that are "
’ not safely habitable, the remaining laborers’ cottages would at once
become impossibly unhealthy by the dishoused crowding in to share
their accommodation.
New cottages, therefore, there must be. I think they can best .
be secured by the District Councils being really empowered to build `
them and to acquire land for that purpose. The District Councils
ought to be able to do this without the sanction of any other
authority being required as at present. Where they fail in their
duty, the County Councils should be called upon to spur them, and
afterwards the Local Government Board should be used for the pur-
pose if necessary. If such building is to be done, and the cottages
are to be let at a possible rent, then the period for the repayment of
the building loans must be greatly extended. The present period
makes building impossible. If the loans were to be repayable in, say,
8o to 1oo years, the houses could generally be built to pay without
costing the ratepayers a halfpenny. The limit to the size of gardens
allowed under the present Act must also be extended. ·
The position of the Medical Oflicers of Health must be made
more secure, and only Sanitary Inspectors whose competence is ·
I certiüed should be appointed. To meet the " tied " house dilïiculty,
_ a notice to quit of at least three months should be required.
Q These are not all the reforms necessary in the law relating to the
ï_ housing of laborers in the Rural Districts. I regard them, how-
ll ever, as the most essential and practicable, and I should hope to see
li at least some of them embodied in the present Government’s
l Housing Bill.
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