§ Mr. Wheeler
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many dwellings in the private rented sector are standing empty in the city of Westminster; what advice he offers councils in such situations in order to rectify the matter; and what is the definition of "dwelling" used in this context.
§ Mr. Stanley
The information is not available in the form requested. However, I refer my hon. Friend to the city of Westminster's local housing strategy and investment programme, a copy of which is in the Library, which gives the local authority's estimate of the number of vacant dwellings in the private592W sector as a whole, that is, owner-occupied and privately rented dwellings together.
The notes for guidance on the completion of the HIP forms, also in the Library, give a definition of "dwelling" in this context.
When I receive the report of the vacant property survey, I shall consider whether the guidance in DOE Circular 76/77 "Better Use of Vacant and Under Occupied Housing" should be modified.