§ Mr. Stephen Ross
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will seek to ascertain and publish an indication of the total number of unoccupied council houses in the United Kingdom at the present time.
§ Mr. Freeson
Out of 4,585,000 local authority dwellings in England and Wales, 34,000—three-quarters of 1 per cent.—were vacant at the end of 1972. Most of these would have been unoccupied only for a short time between tenancies, while some others were probably subject to major works. This estimate is based on information provided by a sample of 603 out of the 1,367 housing authorities. Later figures will be obtained in due course. I understand that comparable information for the rest of the United Kingdom is not available.