§ Mr. Harry Greenway
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what research he has commissioned on fire risks in houses in multiple occupation; by which organisations the research is to be carried out; under what terms of reference; from whom evidence will be taken on this matter; and when the outcome of the research programme will be available to him 
§ Mr. Clappison
In December 1996, Entec (UK) Ltd. was awarded a research contract to undertake a study of the fire risk associated with different types of houses in multiple occupation—HMOSs. This contract followed a feasibility study carried out earlier in the year by the fire research station of the Building Research Establishment. The terms of reference for the research are to identify the factors which are most likely to cause fires in HMOSs, and those factors which increase or decrease the likelihood of death and injury arising from such fires. The initial stages of the research sought evidence from local authorities and others with an interest in HMOSs and fire safety. The main evidence will be gathered about from about 90 case studies in which the views of relevant fire brigades will be sought. Entec's report is expected in August this year.