HC Deb 31 January 2003 vol 398 c1079W
Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many empty homes his Department(a) had five years ago and (b) has now, by region; if he will establish an empty homes strategy within his Department; and if he will set a target for reduction in empty homes. [92921]

Malcolm Wicks

This Department occupies approximately 1,800 buildings. Of those, only 6 contain living accommodation. One of the two flats which form a sub-lettable part of a DWP building in the London region is vacant at present. All such sub-lettable space is actively managed by the department's property advisers to minimise vacancies. We are currently looking at options for the future of the building as a whole.

In view of the numbers involved I do not believe the Department needs either a strategy or a target for reduction. Records that are available indicate that there were no unoccupied homes five years ago.