This follows on from the discussion on HSSA in January 2007(see www.naepp.org.uk/website/drupal/node/297)
None of the comments in NAEPP's final submission of January 2007 was reflected in the final HSSA Guidance for 2007. NAEPP therefore sought a meeting, which finally took place in July 2007, when several NAEPP committee members met several CLG statisticians, including those responsible for HSSA.
The main points we made were:
- The need for a definition of "second homes" for HSSA (there is none at present).
- Preferable to count all vacant dwellings for HSSA, and then disregard certain categories for the purpose of CPA H18.
- CLG should insert in HSSA data from the Valuation Officer on vacant dwellings removed from the Valuation List.
The statisticians seemed receptive to these suggestions. However they have since warned that any change to the 2008 HSSA will be "minimalistic/essential".
In any future discussions with CLG it would be useful to have evidence of how individual Councils currently interpret "second home" for the purpose of HSSA: where second homes are excluded from the figures for vacant dwellings.
For example, do Councils:
- Require evidence of some minimum extent of occupation during the year?
- Rely on the Local Government Act 2003 definition (a furnished dwelling which is not the individual's sole or main residence)?
Please tell us here your Council's approach to this. Thank you.