§ Mr. Wigley
asked the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what is his estimate of the number of key workers' houses which are owned by (a) the Mid-Wales Development 474W Agency, (b) the Welsh Development Agency and (c) local authorities in Wales; and how many of these are currently standing empty;
(2) what is his estimate of the annual cost to public authorities in Wales, in terms of loss of rent, in holding key worker houses empty; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. John Stradling Thomas
The ready availability of houses for key workers is important for industrial development and job creation. At 31 December 1984 the Development Board for Rural Wales owned 49 houses specifically for key workers, of which 17 were empty, though seven of these had been allocated. It is estimated that the loss of rent during the current financial year will be £15,000. In addition, housing associations and local authorities in Mid Wales identify houses to which, for a limited time and in return for a guarantee of rent, they give the board nomination rights for key worker tenants. There were 35 such houses at 31 December 1984, of which 15 were empty. Rent guarantee payments made by the board are estimated at £16,000 in the current financial year.
The Welsh Development Agency does not provide housing for key workers. It owns a small number of houses originally provided for key workers but no longer used for that purpose.
Information on key worker dwellings owned by local authorities throughout Wales is not collected centrally.