§ 21. Dr. Mawhinney
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he has taken to encourage local authorities to ensure that all their council houses are habitable and in use.
§ Mr. Gow
We take the condition of local authority housing and numbers of empty dwellings into account in504W making housing investment programme allocations. On 31 March 1984 25,300 local authority owned houses and flats had been empty for more than a year this is the highest figure ever recorded. It is a disgraceful figure. Responsibility rests with the local authorities concerned. The Department has just completed a study of empty housing. A copy of the report was placed in the Library last week. I will be writing to all local authorities about this.