Below is the text of Mr Major’s written Parliamentary Answer on Empty Dwellings on 22nd June 1988.
Mr. Caborn To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will make a statement on the number of Government-owned empty houses and flats.
Mr. Madden To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will publish a list of all Government Departments which own empty houses and flats and the length of time they have been empty.
Mr. Fachett To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has any proposals for the use of empty Government-owned houses and flats.
Mr. Major The Government are concerned to reduce the number of empty dwellings in its possession to the minimum necessary for operational requirements. Departments, therefore, are encouraged to sell the empty dwellings that are surplus to those requirements. According to annual returns made by departments to the Treasury, in 1987 there were 18,426 empty dwellings owned by Government Departments. The Departments owning these were the Ministry of Defence, Home Office, Northern Ireland Office and Northern Ireland departments, PSA, Scottish Office, Forestry Commission, Department of Transport, and the Welsh Office. Information on the length of vacancy of each dwelling would incur a disproportionate cost.