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Since long term private vacancies are not available on a consistent basis prior to 2000, total private vacancies (long and short term) are tabulated in the following table by urban and rural local authorities every five years since 1981 to provide a long term view. The table shows that the number of private vacant dwellings per 1,000 households in rural local authorities has fallen since 1991, with a larger fall between 1996 and 2006. Vacancy rates have also fallen in urban areas since 1996.
|Total private vacancies (long and short term) by urban and rural local authorities( 1)|
|1 Based on the DEFRA rural definition (2004) 2 2003 Household/Population Projections and Estimates Source: Housing strategy statistical appendix|
Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for what areas housing targets have been set; what target has been set for each area; and what the (a) size and (b) population is of each area. 
Yvette Cooper: Regional spatial strategies include housing provision figures for constituent housing market and local planning authority areas for each region, except in London, where they are set out in the spatial development strategy (The London Plan). All regional spatial strategies are currently in the process of being revised.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) of 19 January 2007, Official Report, column 1354W, on the Housing Data Warehouse, whether the council tax valuation list data being provided by the Valuation Office Agency will include the details of the council tax banding of (a) individual properties, (b) neighbourhoods/market areas, (c) super-output areas and (d) sub-sets thereof. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) of 20 February 2007, Official Report, column 582W, on the Housing Data Warehouse, (1) what the estimated (a) set-up costs and (b) running costs are of the Housing Data Warehouse; 
In respect of the data contained in the Housing Data Warehouse I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) on 8 November 2007, Official Report, column 1571W.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to reform housing revenue accounts to allow local authorities to keep more of their rental income. 
Yvette Cooper: Housing Revenue Account (HRA) subsidy is based on a notional measure of authorities income (which is mainly rents) and expenditure. If need to spend is assumed to be greater than assumed income, then the authority is assumed to have a deficit and HRA subsidy is paid to the authority to make up that shortfall. If the assumed income is greater than the assumed need to spend, this negative subsidy is captured, recycled within the HRA subsidy system and used to help pay for the subsidy entitlement of the deficit authorities. Even with this recycling, in the most recent year for which audited data are available (2005-06), the Exchequer still made an annual contribution of over £200 million.
Surpluses (and deficits) are not related to the efficiency of a council in operating its HRA. Surpluses rarely, if ever, occur where the need to spend is greatest; if those authorities that make surpluses retained them this would, within the total funding levels agreed, mean reduced subsidies and therefore higher rents, for all those authorities with a deficit. The alternative would be higher taxes or cuts in services. The surpluses that are being generated by some authorities also come from housing that has largely been funded by central Government.
My Department is currently working with a group of local authorities to investigate the potential benefits, in terms of asset management, efficiency and better outcomes, of allowing some councils to leave the subsidy system. Self financing would involve a one-off settlement to replace future subsidy or surplus payments. As such, it would not be a means for surplus authorities to have a larger share of overall housing resources.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 5 March 2007, Official Report, column 1800W, how many dwellings were (a) permitted and (b) built in (i) England, (ii) Hampshire and (iii) each (A) district, (B) borough and (C) unitary authority in Hampshire in each year since 2003. 
|New build completions in England, Hampshire and Hampshire districts|
Hampshire level figures include estimates for missing or partial LA returns.
LA figures are as reported.
P2 Housebuilding return as reported by local authorities and National Housebuilding Council.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will take steps to ensure that sufficient funding is available through the disability facilities grant to ensure recommendations made following visits by occupational therapists to those who face access issues are implemented. 
Yvette Cooper: Under the disabled facilities grant (DFG) programme it is for the local housing authority to assess the need of a disabled person for housing adaptations in the light of the mandatory entitlements to assistance set out in section 23 of the Housing Grants Construction and Regeneration Act 1996. The housing authority must also judge whether any work to a dwelling is reasonable or practicable having regard to its age and condition.
The housing authority will normally take expert advice from an occupational therapist in order to assess the need of the disabled person but the grant award under DFG must take account of all of the provisions of the DFG legislation as described.
The Department provides ring-fenced funding to local authorities to support the expenditure incurred by them in delivering the DFG programme. In 2007-08 £126 million was made available from this Department for authorities in England. Local authorities are required to find the remainder of funding from their own resources to fulfil their statutory obligations.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate the Government have made of the net deficit or surplus of housing revenue accountable authorities following the 2007-08 housing subsidy determination. 
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 19 March 2007]: The 2007-08 HRA Subsidy Determination calculates allowances that each local authority will receive and also makes assumptions on notional rental income. But to calculate the subsidy entitlement that a local authority will receive from, or pay out to, the Exchequer other authority-specific factors are required such as the average rate of interest on their borrowing. These specific factors are only applied when the local authority makes their claims for subsidy during 2007-08. We will not have a final audited subsidy figure for 2007-08 for each local authority until 2009. The most up-to-date audited actual subsidy entitlement figures we have are for 2005-06.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many affordable houses were built in (a) the London borough of Havering and (b) Romford in each year since 2001. 
Yvette Cooper: The numbers of affordable homes provided in the London borough of Havering in each financial year since 2000-01 are tabled as follows. The numbers of affordable homes provided in Romford are not readily available. Figures include both new build and acquisitions.
|Affordable homes provided: Havering|
|Number of homes|
Affordable housing includes social rent, low cost home ownership and other sub-market rental products.
Housing Corporation, local authority statistical returns.
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