§ Mr. Woodcock
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he intends to take any action against local authorities which habitually keep local authority houses empty longer than is required for the execution of repairs or by the gaps between tenancies.
§ Sir George Young
Although the Department's report "Reducing the Number of Empty Dwellings" published in 1980 suggests a variety of ways in which local authorities can minimise the periods during which their houses remain empty, and the existing subsidy system operates against local authorities which keep more houses empty than is necessary for management reasons, my right hon. Friend is concerned that numbers remain high.
He has therefore initiated an exercise, based on an analysis of last year's housing investment programme submissions to examine the problems of the 30 local authorities with the worst records of long-term empty dwellings, and to suggest solutions.