§ Bob Russell
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many dwellings he estimates are empty in each local authority area in(a) Essex and (b) Suffolk. 
§ Mr. Tony McNulty
The information presented in the table below is taken from the 2001 Housing Investment Programme Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix.211W
Local Authority dwellings are those which the authority owns within the authority area
Registered Social Landlord dwellings are those owned or leased by landlords registered with the Housing Corporation.
Other public sector dwellings cover those owned by the authority for non-housing purposes and by other authorities inside the LA area. Housing Action Trusts, government departments and other public sector agencies (e.g. Regional Health Authorities, Forestry Commission and county councils).
Other private sector is defined as all privately owned dwellings
The total number of vacant dwellings in a district can be estimated using council tax records, or a local survey if available, and have the same coverage of dwellings except that second homes, holiday lets, dwellings in unlicensed accommodation, and flats and houses normally occupied by students should not be included. Vacants include dwellings that are empty between changing occupants or undergoing modernisation, repair or conversion, or awaiting demolition; or newly completed but not occupied.
These figures relate to those returned by local authorities in July 2002 as part of the annual Housing Investment Programme returns. This years round is now underway and local authorities are due to submit figures to OPDM by 31 July 2002.