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Empty Property

Volume 479: debated on Thursday 17 July 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 7 July 2008, Official Report, column 1355W, on empty property, what estimate she has made of the number of homes that will be made available using the £200 million fund; and what assessment she has made of the effect this initiative and the Settled Homes Initiative will have on (a) the numbers of households on housing waiting lists and (b) the number of empty properties on the housing market. (219792)

We have given Housing Corporation flexibility in 2008-09 to acquire up to £200 million worth of completed stock that can be put to use as affordable housing. We estimate that this will enable the purchase of between 3,000 to 5,000 properties. So far the Housing Corporation has allocated some £19 million, since the scheme was announced in May, bringing over 600 homes into the affordable housing programme.

If properties at the right price, in the right locations and offering good standards are available, the Housing Corporation will consider investing further resources to support delivery of our demanding affordable housing targets.

In 2007, £30 million was provided for the Settled Homes Initiative which will enable six schemes in London to purchase around 900 empty homes and convert them over time into quality settled social housing.