§ Mrs. Ewing
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what percentage of homes in Scotland were (i) council owned and (ii) owned by publicly financed bodies in each year since 1978–79.
§ Mr. Macdonald
(holding answer 2 June 1998]: The information available is set out in the table.331W
Financial year Council stock as at 31 March (thousands) Stock owned by other publicly financed bodies1,4 as at 31 March (thousands) Estimated total stock2 as at 31 December (thousands) Council stock as percent of all stock (col 2/col 4) (%) Stock owned by other publicly financed bodies as percent of all stock (col 3/col 4) (%) 1993–94 649 82 2.193 29.6 3.7 1994–95 596 73 2.210 27.0 3.3 1995–96 632 43 2.229 28.4 1.9 1996–97 622 29 2.246 27.7 1.3 1997–983 613 19 5— 5— 5— 1 Figures for the years up to and including 1988–89 are for the Scottish Special Housing Association (SSHA) and New Towns. From 1989–90 to 1995–96, figures are for stock owned by Scottish Homes and New Towns. For 1996–97, figures are for Scottish Homes stock only—New Town stock was transferred to councils, Scottish Homes and Housing Associations during the course of 1995–96 and 1996–97 2 Estimates from December 1991 onwards are based on the 1991 Population Census. Estimates for earlier years are based on the 1981 Census and are not strictly comparable 3 The council stock figure for 1997–98 is as at September 1997 4 Housing associations, although not public bodies, receive public subsidy from Scottish Homes. At 31 March 1997, the latest date for which information is available, housing associations owned around 105,000 dwellings, 4.7 per cent. of the total estimated housing stock at December 1996 5 Not yet available
§ Mr. Chisholm
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to introduce a full system of licensing for houses in multiple occupation. 
§ Mr. Macdonald
We are committed to protecting the rights of tenants, and those in shared accommodation are no exception. We have issued a consultation paper today proposing the introduction of a full system of licensing for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), in line with our Manifesto commitment.
We value the contribution of the private rented sector, and HMOs play their part by accommodating a wide range of households including mobile workers and other single people. However, while many HMO landlords are providing perfectly acceptable accommodation, there is concern about both the physical condition and management of some HMOs.
Licensing would allow authorities to refuse a licence where an applicant is not a fit and proper person to hold an HMO licence. This will provide a powerful mechanism for preventing exploitation of tenants. For example, licences could be refused for those with relevant criminal convictions. Depending on the circumstances of the particular case, this could include Housing Benefit fraud.
Licensing would also enable local authorities to take a co-ordinated approach to regulating HMOs across departments. This should be a benefit for landlords.
We therefore propose to make it mandatory for all local authorities in Scotland to introduce HMO licensing. Councils were given discretionary powers to licence in 1991, but so far only seven have used them.
A consultation paper setting out our proposals has been sent today to a wide range of bodies with an interest in HMOs, with a request for comments by 30 October 1998. Copies of the consultation paper have been placed in the House Libraries.
§ Mr. Wallace
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish the criteria under which the New Housing Partnership schemes were assessed. 
§ Mr. Dewar
The criteria were set out in a letter issued by the Scottish Office Development Department to Chief Executives of local authorities on 5 December 1997332W inviting local authorities to submit bids and also in a summary report issued on 5 May 1998 explaining how the bids were assessed. Copies of both documents have been placed in the House of Commons Library.