§ Sir Geoffrey Finsberg
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many flats and houses owned by local authorities were vacant at the latest available date; and what were the rent arrears of the same authorities for the last convenient financial year.
§ Mr. John Patten
Estimates derived from English local authorities' housing investment programme returns showed that there were 113,300 vacant local authority dwellings at 1 April 1986, including 1,700 which were closed awaiting demolition. Based on figures supplied to the Department by English local authorities in their housing subsidy claim forms, cumulative rent arrears at 1 April 1986 amounted to £211 million.