§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cumulative extra cost to the social security budget of the transfer of council housing to registered social landlords has been in each year since 1997. 
§ Mr. Pond
The information is not available. To determine such a figure would require detailed assumptions about the rents each authority might theoretically have charged had it retained the stock. However, the potential impact on housing benefit where stock is transferred to registered social landlords is considered as part of the overall value-for-money assessment of transfers.