§ Mr. Hancock
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of the homes his Department owns are currently empty; how many have been empty for more than six months; and if he will provide a breakdown in each case by location. 
§ Mr. Spellar
As at 31 March 1997, the most recent date for which figures are available, the Ministry of Defence held a stock of 65,800 Service families quarters in Great Britain of which 13,142 were empty. In addition, the Department has 3,059 families quarters in Northern Ireland of which 222 were empty.
Of the empty properties in Great Britain: 1,755 had been identified for disposal; 3,364 had been allocated to incoming families; 2,533 were awaiting major upgrade works; 633 had been identified as temporarily surplus and were being offered to local authorities or housing associations for short to medium term leasing and, finally, 486W 1,117 were not available for disposal or leasing out as they were on military bases and security considerations prevent such action. Taking these management and security consideration into account results in a net voids level of 3,740—that is 5.86 per cent. of stock.
It is not possible to identify how many of these have been empty for over six months as such information is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.
The best available breakdown by location, that is by Defence Housing Executive (DHE) Area, is as follows:Area I: 322; Area 2: 189; Area 3: 270; Area 4: 91; Area 5: 102; Area 6: 54; Area 7: 348; Area 8: 149; Area 9: 190; Area 10: 270; Area 11: 139; Area 12: 85; Area 13: 121; Area 14: 170; Area 15: 31; Area 16: 47; Area 17: 36; Area 18: 125; Area 20: 120; Area 21: 260; Area 22: 166; Area 23: 189; Area 24: 112; Area 25: 154.
A map showing the coverage of DHE Area across Great Britain is available in the Library of the House. It should be noted that there is no Area 19.