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7 Dec 2006 : Column 704Wcontinued
The latest figures show that 92 per cent. of all families with dependent children and/or an expectant mother in temporary accommodation are living in self-contained properties, with their own front door.
Since 2004, local authorities have not been permitted to house families in bed and breakfast accommodation for more than six weeks.
Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many applications for houses in multiple occupation licences have been received in each local authority since April 2006; and how many licences have been issued in each case. 
Yvette Cooper: The Department does not hold this information at present but is working closely with local authorities to ensure that the relevant data collection system is in place. We expect to have complete information regarding applications and licences issued by local authorities from spring 2007.
Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what assessment her Department has made of the role solid log homes can play in addressing the shortage of affordable housing; 
(2) what guidance her Department issues to local planning authorities on the criteria to be applied when planning applications for the construction of solid log homes are being considered. 
Yvette Cooper: The Department has not made any specific assessment of the use of solid log homes for affordable housing and has not issued planning guidance on this subject.
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many applications there are on housing waiting lists in (a) Hemsworth constituency, (b) the Wakefield District and (c) each local authority in the Government Office Region of Yorkshire and the Humber. 
Yvette Cooper: Information is not collected at the constituency or district level, only at local authority level.
The number of households on the waiting list for social housing in each local authority in Yorkshire and the Humber, as at 1 April 2006, is tabled as follows:
|As at 1 April 2006|
|Local authority name||Number|
Communities and Local Governments Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA) return
Local authorities (LAs) in England report the numbers of households on their housing waiting list as at 1 April in their annual Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix returns. Where the local authority maintains a common waiting list with Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) in their district, the list will also include households placed on the list by RSLs.
Communities and Local Government does not collect information on households on individual RSL waiting lists.
Not everyone on the waiting list is necessarily in urgent housing need. The waiting list includes those who consider social housing as their preferred or one of a number of housing options, and those who decide to get onto the waiting list ladder before they need or want to move houseparticularly where the priority system is heavily based on waiting time.
LAs adopt different approaches to keeping their waiting list up-to-date: some do so on a regular annual basis; while others do so less frequently or on a rolling basis. As a result, comparisons between LAs should be made with caution.
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many affordable housing units (a) built and (b) procured through the Housing Corporation National Affordable Housing Programme were (i) mixed funded social rented housing, (ii) temporary social rented housing,
(iii) homebuy general market purchase, (iv) homebuy general new build, (v) mixed funded low cost home ownership for sale, (vi) miscellaneous works to registered social landlord (RSL) stock, (vii) re-improvements to rented RSL stock, (viii) works only rehabilitation of RSL stock for sale, (ix) intermediate rent for key workers, (x) homebuy market purchase for key workers and (xi) starter home initiative in Yorkshire and Humberside in 2005-06; and how much was spent on each category in that year. 
Yvette Cooper: The table shows completions and expenditure through the Housing Corporation Affordable Housing Programme, for units newly built or procured for categories (i) to (viii).
The Key Worker Living programme was limited to London and the wider South East, so there are no completions or investment in categories (ix) to (xi) in the Yorkshire and Humberside region through this programme.
Funding and completions are not directly comparable, as funding will relate to projects running, not necessarily units completed, in any one year.
|Yorkshire and Humbersidecompletions and funding in 2005-06 and allocations 2006-08|
|New Build (Units)||Procured (Units)||Expenditure (£ million)||Allocation (Units)||Allocation (£ million)|
Miscellaneous works, re-improvements to rented RSL stock and works only rehabilitation of RSL stock for sale are not recorded as completed dwellings as they may have previously received funding and would therefore be double counted.
Figures for 2006-08 are based on the Housing Corporations Allocation Statement for the Yorkshire and Humberside following approval of their 2006-08 Affordable Housing Programme.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate her Department has made of the proportion of long-term empty homes that are adequately served by (a) transport networks, (b) public services, (c) amenities and (d) other infrastructure. 
Yvette Cooper: No formal assessment has been made. However, our general assumption is that the majority of empty homes are located within existing communities. Therefore, it is likely that they will have access to existing transport, services, amenities and other infrastructure.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance her Department provides to local authorities on the groups of people in housing need who might be accommodated in properties leased under empty dwelling management orders. 
Yvette Cooper: It is for local authorities to determine the suitability of people to be housed in dwellings subject to empty dwelling management orders. The Department does not provide guidance on this aspect of the procedure.
Where a local authority receives approval from a residential property tribunal to make an interim empty dwelling management order, before it can place a person in occupation of the dwelling, it must obtain written consent from the owner. Therefore, the owner will have an opportunity to discuss with the authority who they intend to let the property to.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will publish local authority good practice on bringing empty homes back into use at below-market level rents to meet local housing needs. 
Yvette Cooper: The primary objective of bringing empty homes back into use is to reduce the negative impact they have on local communities. Local authorities may additionally seek to make use of empty homes to meet housing need at affordable rent levels. This is a matter for individual local authorities to determine and the Department does not provide guidance on this aspect.
The Department has funded good practice guidance on other aspects relating to the reuse of empty property. It funded a series of seminars earlier this year, organised by the Innovation and Development Agency and the Empty Homes Agency, that examined effective approaches to dealing with empty homes. This was allied to publication of a new good practice document, A Cure for Empty Homes. In addition, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister published comprehensive good practice guidance, Unlocking the Potential of Empty Property, in 2003.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what research she (a) has commissioned and (b) plans to commission into the relative environmental merits of new house building compared with making greater use of homes that have been empty for more than six months. 
Yvette Cooper: We published the report, A sustainability impact study of additional housing scenarios in England in December 2005. This study assessed the environmental, social and economic impacts of additional housing growth scenarios developed in response to the findings of the Barker review of housing supply. In addition, the Empty Homes Agency is currently undertaking a research project into the environmental merits of bringing empty homes back into use and will publish its findings in due course.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps her Department is taking to encourage local authorities to make greater use of empty dwelling management orders. 
Yvette Cooper: Empty dwelling management orders are a discretionary power and can only be used as a last resort where attempts by a local authority to tackle the problem through agreement are declined by owners. It is for local authorities to judge whether making an order is an appropriate course of action in the particular circumstances of each case and then to seek the necessary approval of a residential property tribunal.
In order to raise awareness and understanding of empty dwelling management orders the Department has published detailed technical guidance explaining the relevant provisions of the Housing Act 2004 and an explanatory leaflet for property owners.
The Department has also facilitated training and associated good practice guidance organised by the Innovation and Development Agency and the Empty Homes Agency.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many long-term empty properties have been recorded in Bristol in each year since 1990. 
Yvette Cooper: Information is not available for long term empty properties prior to 2002. The following number of total vacancies and long-term vacancies (from 2002) for Bristol are presented in the following table.
|Snap-shot date||Total vacancies||Vacancies over 6 months|
|n/a = Not available.|
1990-2001 from the HSSA
2002-2005 from the CTB1
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