HC Deb 13 June 2002 vol 386 cc1350-1W
Mr. Hancock

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much has been spent in each of the last three years on(a) rent and (b) maintenance of empty service family properties; and if he will make a statement. [60718]

Dr. Moonie

An accurate breakdown of rental and maintenance costs between occupied and empty Service Families Accommodation (SFA) is not available. Because of Service mobility, turnover of occupancy tends to be high and some properties may have several occupants over a relatively short period and various empty spells between occupants. However, on a proportionate basis, the current vacancy rate would indicate expenditure in the broad order of £20 million per annum in rent and £9 million in maintenance. Corresponding figures for a year ago would be £23 million rent and £11 million maintenance, and two years ago when £27 million rent and £14 million maintenance.

Of the current 8,600 empty properties in mainland UK, some 2,400 are in the course of disposal, 2,500 are held for future unit deployments and some 1,000 are empty awaiting modernisation. Others are available to incoming occupants or already under offer to them. Since January 2000, over 10,000 surplus properties have been disposed of.