(2) what intermediate targets have been set for the reduction of the rate of long-term vacant dwellings in (a) the North West and (b) Yorkshire and Humber ahead of the 2016 target.
[holding answer 20 February 2008]: Overall, since 2003 there has been a reduction in long term vacancy rates in Yorkshire and the Humber and the North West, and they are broadly on trajectory. For a number of years up to 2003 vacancy rates in the North West were increasing. However, since 2004 the vacancy rate trend in the North West shows a marked improvement. We expect long term vacancy rates in housing market renewal pathfinder areas both in Yorkshire and the Humber and the North West to fall as they move into the next phase of their interventions.
The Department’s annual report for 2007 includes a trajectory which illustrates the intermediate stages towards achieving the targets by 2016.