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Empty Houses

Volume 888: debated on Monday 17 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what consultations he has had with the London Housing Action Group regarding the number of properties that are owned by local authorities and housing associations and that have been vacant for more than six months; and if he can give an indication of how many such properties there are in the Greater London area.

As my hon. Friend knows, the Action Group on London Housing has begun an investigation of the whole process of development and redevelopment in the public housing sector to identify where delays occur. An important concern in this work will be to minimise the time for which dwellings or sites remain empty before redevelopment.

There are no data for public sector dwellings in London vacant for more than six months but the latest available statistics, from a survey carried out in April 1973, showed that at any one time there was an average vacancy rate of around 1 per cent. in London local authority housing, excluding the Greater London Council. This figure excludes dwellings designated for redevelopment which, when fit, are generally put to use as short-life properties, and no information is available on vacancy rates for housing association dwellings in London.