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Empty Properties: Short-Life Use

Volume 414: debated on Wednesday 12 November 1980

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asked Her Majesty's Government:What is their estimate of the number of houses and flats, owned by local authorities and housing associations, that are now boarded-up while awaiting demolition, improvement or major repair; and what steps they are taking to encourage the maximum amount of "short-life" use.

On the basis of the Vacant Property Survey, it is estimated that in Spring 1977 local authorities and New Town Development Corporations in England owned about 70,000 vacant properties which were awaiting either demolition or building work. It is not known how many of these properties were boarded up. Similar information is not available for housing associations.The Government are anxious to see that the best and most efficient use is made of the housing stock. Short-life schemes have a part to play. Circular 76/77

Better Use of Vacant and Under-Occupied Housing gives general advice. The Housing Act 1980, by excluding from security of tenure short-term lettings to the homeless, students and job movers (either by local authorities or housing associations), and properties on land acquired for development, offers encouragement to local authorities to utilise empty properties in this way.