HC Deb 12 April 1994 vol 241 cc14-5
16. Mr. Austin-Walker

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the current number of vacant dwellings owned by his Department.

Mr. Hanley

As at 31 December 1993, my Department owned 10,108 vacant married quarters and 151 vacant Ministry of Defence houses. In addition 1,468 vacant married quarters and 44 vacant MOD civilian houses were in the process of being sold. The majority of the vacant married quarters were either undergoing or awaiting major works or modernisation, held for unit deployments, or already allocated to service families who were due to move in shortly.

Mr. Austin-Walker

Does the Minister recall the statement by his fellow Minister, Viscount Cranborne, that many sales to housing associations were either delayed or terminated because of lack of funding? Does he accept that the Government's restrictions on capital expenditure are resulting in thousands of Ministry of Defence homes remaining empty while thousands of people are homeless?

Mr. Hanley

The Ministry of Defence sold 2,000 married quarters last year and we intend to sell another 5,000 during the next five years, which is a pretty impressive record.