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Local Authority Housing

Volume 229: debated on Thursday 22 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many local authority-owned houses were empty at the last date at which figures were available; what information he has on the length of time they had been vacant; what is his estimate of the rent forgone for each local authority during the last year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement.

At 1 April 1992 the number of local authority owned properties in England that were empty and available for letting, either immediately or after minor works—that is, excluding dwellings awaiting major works or due to be sold or demolished—was 40,400, representing 1·1 per cent. of all local authority dwellings.The available information on the length of time these dwellings had been vacant is as follows:

Time vacantNumber of dwellings vacant
Three weeks or less15,400
Over three weeks but not more than six weeks8,900
Over six weeks but not more than six months10,600
Over six months but not more than one year2,400
Over one year3,200
Total40,400
The number of empty local authority dwellings available for letting, either immediately or after minor works fell substantially between April 1990, when it stood at 51,500–1·3 per cent. of all dwellings—and April 1992 as a result of improved management performance by local authorities.Estimates are not compiled centrally of the rent forgone while dwellings are vacant.