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Unoccupied Homes

Volume 301: debated on Thursday 27 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what estimate he has made of the total number of unoccupied homes in England (i) in 1990 and (ii) at the latest date for which figures are available; and what proportion was owned by (a) local authorities, (b) central government departments, (c) the private sector, (d) housing associations and (e) others. [17711]

Estimates are given below of the numbers of vacant dwellings in England on 1 April in 1990 and, the latest date for which figures are available, in 1996.

NumberProportionNumberProportion (per cent)
Local authority199,4001479,60010
Housing associations219,700323,6003
Other public sector317,000220,0003
Private sector1587,00081667,00084
1 HIP1 returns from local authorities.
2 Housing Corporation HAR10/1 returns from housing associations.
3 Govnerment Departments and HIP1 returns from local authorities.
There are doubts about the quality of some authorities' estimates of the number of private sector vacants; independent survey data suggest that the HIP1 figures may over-estimate the total number of these vacants. Total vacants have been falling in recent years after increasing by around 20 per cent. between 1990 and 1993, and at any one time around half of the private sector vacants are empty as a function of the housing market.