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Housing: Low Incomes

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many social homes there are in North Devon constituency; and how many there were in each of the last five years; (234414)

(2) how many people are on waiting lists for social housing in North Devon constituency.

Information on the number of social dwellings owned by registered social landlords (RSLs) and local authorities are published on the Communities and Local Government website in Table 115 and Table 116 respectively at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/xls/140879.xls

http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/xls/140882.xls

Information is not available at constituency level, but North Devon falls within North Devon local authority area. All social dwellings in North Devon are owned by RSLs, though the local authority reported two dwellings in 2004-05 and one dwelling in 2005-06 in their Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA) annual return. The number on number of social dwellings owned by registered social landlords from 2002 to 2006 is given in the following table.

Dwelling stock owned by registered social landlord 2002-06

Number of self-contained units/bedspaces

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

North Devon

3,655

4,192

4,174

4,219

4,213

Source:

Housing Corporation via the annual Regulatory and Statistical Return (RSR)(as found in CLG live table 115)

Information about social housing waiting lists is collected in respect of households rather than individuals. Where local authorities and registered social landlords operate a common register, households registered with the RSL will be included in the data. However, registered social landlords are independent bodies and can keep their own waiting lists. Information on the number of households on local authorities' waiting lists broken down by Government office region and local authority for 1997 to 2007 is published on the Communities and Local Government website in Table 600 at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/xls/144458.xls.

Copies of this table have been deposited in the Library of the House.

At 1 April 2007, the number of households on the local authority housing waiting list in North Devon was 4,340.

Local authorities in England report the number of households on their housing waiting list as at 1 April in their annual Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix returns.

The size of the waiting list is not an indicator of absolute need; it is only useful as a broad indicator of housing demand in an area. Not everyone on the waiting list is necessarily in urgent housing need. The waiting list includes those who consider social housing as their preferred or one of a number of housing options, and those who decide to get onto the waiting list ladder before they need or want to move house.