§ Mr. Cousins
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will estimate the number of empty housing units in the City of Newcastle upon Tyne in(a) 1995, (b) 1996 and (c) 1997 (i) in total and (ii) by housing sector. 
§ Mr. Raynsford
The numbers of vacant local authority and housing associations dwellings in Newcastle upon Tyne on 1 April are set out in the table, alongside the local authority's estimates of private and other public sector vacant dwellings.
1995 1996 1997 Local authority1 1,634 1,726 1,674 Housing association2 327 569 607 Other public sector1 498 369 287 Private sector1 4,339 4,191 4,385 Total 6,798 6,855 6,953 1 Source: Annual Housing Investment Programme (HIP1) returns. 2 Source: Annual HAR10/1 returns.
§ Mrs. Organ
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what factors underlay his assessment that a possible five million new homes are required for the next century's housing needs. 
§ Mr. Raynsford
My Department has made no such assessment. The 1992-based household projections, published in March 1995, indicate a 4.4 million increase in the number of households in England in the 25 year period from 1991 to 2016. However, these household projections are not an estimate of the number of additional houses which have to be built. Rather, they represent just one of the factors to be taken into account by local planning authorities when arriving at figures for housing provision to be included in regional guidance and development plans.
These projections remain the latest official estimates of household formation until the 1996-based household projections are compiled around the end of this year.