HC Deb 06 August 1976 vol 916 cc1193-4W
Mr. Richard Wainwright

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps lie will take to establish an up-to-date estimate of the number of houses in England and Wales that are empty at present.

Mr. Reginald Freeson

Local authorties provide the Department with annual returns in each year's Relets Inquiry which includes information about empty local authority dwellings; the results for 1975 will be available shortly. There is no equivalent annual survey of empty houses in private ownership. I am considering the need for a more comprehensive assessment in the light of other competing demands on public resources.