Empty homes statistics - Parliamentary written answer

A written answer to an enquiry by Mrs. Spelman

"To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which 20 local authorities have the highest level of (a) long-term empty social housing and (b) long-term empty private housing. [306408]"

NB that  the answer continues into the next page

It contains the valuable statement that:

"The reasons for homes becoming and remaining vacant are varied ranging from an over supply of accommodation, the redevelopment of an area to the standard of accommodation and in some circumstances individual failure to maintain a property in good repair. Numbers of empty properties within local authorities should not therefore be seen as a reflection of the approach adopted by local authorities to tackle these issues."

This common sense view is very muich in line with NAEPP's position on empty homes statistics.  It certainly raises the question why, then, were such statistics ever used in the CPA regime.

The source of statistics includes the CTB returns for October 2008.  It isn't clear why they were used rather than the 2009 returns which have been available for some time.  One consequence is that the list of local authorities contains places that no longer exist following government reorganisation - for example Macclesfield and Derwentside.

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