§ Mr. Thurnham
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what current estimates he has for the numbers of publicly-owned empty properties.
§ Mrs. Roe
The latest estimates derived from local authorities' annual housing investment programme returns for 1987 are as follows:
Vacant dwellings at 1 April 1987—England Thousands Owned by: Local housing authorities1 112 Other public sector bodies2 15 Total publicly-owned 127 1 Includes overspill estates. 2 Includes housing owned by new towns, county councils (for example, police houses). Government departments and nationalised industries and other public bodies. Many of these dwellings are vacant because of operational requirements, notably those owned by the Ministry of Defence, and others have been acquired for demolition, for example, by the Department of Transport. The Government are encouraging the sale of housing which is not required and many of those that are vacant are in the process of disposal.