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Housing Starts

Volume 87: debated on Tuesday 26 November 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will estimate the number of new housing construction starts that are necessary each year to maintain the housing stock at existing levels of quality and quantity; and if he will estimate the percentage of this figure which was achieved in the last year for which figures are available.

At 1984 rates of removal of dwellings from the housing stock, 22,000 new houses would be required annually to maintain the housing stock in England at the same size as at the end of 1984, that is to say 13 per cent. of the number started. Maintaining the quality of the stock depends far more on upkeep and renovation than on new building, hence there is no unique number of dwellings to be demolished and replaced to maintain the existing level of quality of the housing stock.