The UK Statistics Authority have recently questioned the Government’s reports that homelessness had more than halved its peak in 2003.

Council owned domestic properties

According to The Guardian,the Department of Communities and Local Government has been accused of sharing misleading data regarding homelessness figures. The data is said to be misleading as it only refers to the statutory definition of homelessness – a relatively narrow term covering homeless people local authorities are obliged to assist – not those given assistance under homelessness prevention and relief schemes.

Oldrids and Downtown, a hallway furniture provider, recentlymade a Freedom of Information request to councils to gauge how many domestic properties each council was responsible for, and how many properties were currently standing empty (responses were sent between December 2016 and January). They aimed to use this data and compare it against homeless figures in 2016 retrieved by homeless.org.uk and paint a realistic picture of whether the UK has enough homes to house the people sleeping rough.

Example insights include:

Councils with people sleeping rough and a significant number of council-owned properties standing empty…

  • Derby has 21 people sleeping rough. The council has 106 domestic properties, out of 13,132, standing empty. According to the council, of those 106 properties there are 22 temp held voids and 84 active voids.
  • Brighton & Hove has 144 people sleeping rough – but 100 domestic properties standing empty of the 11,548 they own.
  • Manchesterhas 78 people sleeping rough. The council owns 63,265 domestic properties, 286 of which are standing vacant. Of these 286, 162 are vacant for demolition, leaving 124 properties available.
  • Reading council has 22 people sleeping rough. The council owns 6,875 domestic properties, 64 of which are standing empty.

Councils with no houses standing empty

  • City of London council has 3,150 council-owned domestic properties, none of which are standing empty. There are 50 people sleeping rough in the City of London.
  • Salford council has 1,235 council-owned domestic properties, none of which are standing empty. There are 26 people sleeping rough in Salford.
  • West Berkshire council has 26 council-owned domestic properties, none of which are standing empty. There are 14 people sleeping rough in West Berkshire.

Councils with no rough sleeping? Look to the North East:

  • Redcar & Cleveland council has 0 people sleeping rough. The council also owns 0 properties.
  • Northumberland council has 0 people sleeping rough. The council owns 8,476 domestic properties, 143 of which are standing empty.
COUNCIL COUNCIL DOMESTIC PROPERTIES COUNICIL DOMESTIC PROPERTIES STANDING EMPTY NOTES FROM COUNCIL ROUGH SLEEPING DATA
North East
Northumberland 8,476 143 0
Newcastle 25,869 398 Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) is an Arms Length Management organisation (ALMO), set up in 2004 to manage council housing on behalf of Newcastle City Council (NCC). Your Homes Newcastle now manages 26,000 Newcastle City Council properties and 500 Leazes Homes properties. 5
North Tyneside 14,937 591 215 are deemed General Need properties, 349 linked to PFI Sheltered refurbishment / New Build project, 3 are linked to our schools,6 are in need of disposal, 18 are linked to a recent new build / refurbishment programme 1
South Tyneside 17,835 221 Council-owned properties include leasehold properties 4
Gateshead 19,472 486 4
Sunderland 0 0 I can confirm that Sunderland City Council owns no domestic properties, our housing stock having been transferred to Sunderland Housing Group (later renamed Gentoo) in 2001 following a consultation with (then) Council tenants.  Accordingly, the answer to your questions as below would be ‘none’. 4
Durham 0 0 All social housing stock owned by the Local Authority got transferred over to the new County Durham Housing Group. 12
Hartlepool 237 27 6 are under repair and 25 are part of the new empty homes programme and are undergoing significant refurbishment due to be completed by March 2017. 4
Darlington 5259 17 5
Stockton 0 0 4
Middlesbrough 0 0 Middlesbrough Council transferred its housing stock to Erimus/Thirteen Group in 2005, and therefore we no longer own any domestic properties. 2
Redcar & Cleveland 0 0 0
North West
Blackburn 0 0 2
Blackpool 4711 78 As at 23/01/2017 BCH currently manages 3934 General Need properties and 777 sheltered properties for Blackpool Council. As at 23/01/2017 there are 65 General Need properties and 13 sheltered properties standing empty 11
Bolton 0 0 Please note that Bolton Council no longer operate any housing stock.  The housing stock formally managed by the Council is now controlled by Bolton at Home, who are a registered charity and independent of the Counci 8
Bury 8052 147 3
Cumbria 2678 50 Data not available
Cheshire East 0 0 Unfortunately there are no longer any council-owned properties in our district. Therefore I suggest you look on the below link to assist you with the information your require. Also I have asked our housing department for their input so they may contact you direct. http://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/housing/housing_options/registered_social_landlords.aspx 4
Halton 0 0 3
Knowsley 0 0 There are no other Council owned properties within the district as the Council are no longer a stock holding authority (Knowsley Council transferred its social housing stock in 2002 to Knowsley Housing Trust). 2
Liverpool 565 565  These are not habitable as they have been acquired for regeneration and renewal purposes. There are presently a number of schemes progressing which will see these properties brought back into use and transfer out the Council’s ownership 21
Lancashire 10,126.00 417.00 9.00
Manchester 63,265 286 162 of the 286 are vacant for demolition 78
Oldham 2,064 0 At any one time there may be a small number of properties which are empty during void work between tenancies.  However the average void time (time between tenancies) for our properties is 12 days in our older people’s specialist housing and 7 days in our general needs housing. 3
Rochdale 0 0 Your request is not applicable to Rochdale Borough Council  as the Council transferred all its social housing stock to a registered provider, Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH), on 26th March 2012. 12
Salford 1235 0 26
Sefton 47 16 4
St Helens 0 0 The council do not own any residential properties. We sold all of our housing stock to a company called Helena Partnerships a number of years ago. 2
Stockport 11,266 53 Unoccupied properties which are standing empty awaiting regeneration under a planned programme. As of 10/01/2016 there were 49 empty properties which were being prepared for re-let through the choice based lettings system. These figures change on a daily basis. In December 2016, the average turn-around time for these properties was 11.9 days. 10
Tameside 0 0 I can advise that the Council does not hold any housing stock. Tameside Council transferred all housing stock to two registered social land lords with the majority being transferred to New Charter Housing Trust in 2000. 19
Trafford 0 0 2
Warrington 87 0 5
Cheshire West 5,495 31 Including Gypsy and Traveller sites are also classed as domestic properties (30 of total properties are classed as traveller sites, 8 of which are vacant) 7
Wigan 22,119 268 28
Wirral 0 0 Wirral Borough Council transferred it’s housing stock to Wirral Partnership Homes (now Magenta Living) and Beechwood & Ballantyne Community Housing Association in February 2005 and therefore has no recorded information to provide to you as we are no longer considered a stock holding authority. 11
North
Barnsley 18,709 151 2
Bradford 176 0 10
Calderdale 0 0 This Authority no longer holds any housing stock. All properties held were transferred to Pennine Housing 2000 in March 2001. https://www.ph2k.org.uk/ 6
Doncaster 20,337 234 196 of the empty dwellings are lettable, 2 are non-lettable, 36 are awaiting demolition. 13
East Riding 11,345 150 13
Kingston Upon Hull 24,594 606 15
Kirklees 22,963 201 5
Leeds 57,545 393 As of Dec 2016 20
North East Lincolnshire 0 0  The Council do not have any HRA properties anymore, as these went to Shoreline in 2004. For the SHLAA return for 2016/17 we declared 7 residential properties (caretakers homes and the like) none of which were surplus. 13
North Lincolnshire 0 0 North Lincolnshire Council no longer own any housing – this has now been transferred to Ongo. Please contact Ongo on the below: 11
North Yorkshire 8,534 111 Data not available
Rotherham 20601 170 As of Dec 2016 6
Sheffield 40,043 790 This figure changes on a weekly basis as properties become vacant and are tenanted. 15
Wakefield 0 0 The Council does not hold the information you require. You may like to direct your request to Wakefield District Housing. 7
York 7,668 43  Currently standing empty, between tenancies so will be empty short term only 18
East Midlands
Derby 13,132 106 22 temp held voids, 84 active voids 21
Derbyshire 30 6 2
Leicester 21673 348 36
Leicestershire 16493 398 36
Lincolnshire 21,674 220 36
Nottingham 26205 491 35
Nottinghamshire 30,354 302 Data not available
Northamptonshire 20,233 298 21
Rutland 1 0 Rutland County Council is a non-stock holding authority. It transferred its housing stock in 2009 under Large Scale Voluntary Transfer (LSVT). We retained one property which is now used for the purpose of temporary accommodation. 2
West Midlands
Birmingham 63,039 1,001 Void / empty properties pending demolition (City wide: S, W&N, E) 613, void / empty properties with repair work in progress (S73, W&N31, E79) 183, Void /empty properties fit for letting &ready for new tenancy, (S76, W&N82 ,E40) 198, -Void / empty properties awaiting for various decision on best course of action (E7) 7 55
Herefordshire 13 2 Please note that Herefordshire Council does not hold a supply of social housing stock. A. 2 of these are empty – but one of these is an empty caravan pitch rather than a physical empty dwelling. 21
Shropshire 4,099 21 13
Staffordshire 9,574 167 24
Stoke 18,452 376 17
Telford & Wrekin 0 0 9
Warwickshire 17,765 228 24
West Midlands 147310 1970 Data not available
Worcestershire 5,908 72 10
South West
Bath & North East Somerset 0 0 Housing stock was transferred to Curo (formerly Somer CHT) 25
Bournemouth 5185 22 39
Cornwall 10,385 89 Void for repairs and refurbishment 99
City of Bristol 27,400 406 There are about 96 non-HRA residential properties on the Council’s property database, comprising school and other caretakers’ houses/flats, residential homes etc; about 10 of these are currently vacant, all being ex-school caretakers’ houses. 74
Devon 669 35 25
Dorset 0 3
Gloucestershire 9612 111 23
Isles of Scilly 120 2 Empty awaiting allocation 1
North Somerset 178 3 8
Plymouth 0 0 All stock – including sheltered housing units – was transferred to Plymouth Community Homes (a new housing association constituted for the purpose of this stock transfer) in October 2009. 20
Poole 4525 43 4525 includes 14 hostel units 11
Somerset 9,847 88 10
South Gloucestershire 11 2 55
Swindon 10,300 8 8 long-term voids (empty properties). Virtually all of these are planned for demolition as part of our regeneration works. 28
Torbay 0 0 20
Wiltshire 5,279 24 18
London
Barking and Dagenham 18115 92 4
Barnet 10,426 72 21
Bexley 0 The Council does not own any domestic properties. The Council transferred its housing stock to housing associations operating in Bexley in 1998 (London & Quadrant and Orbit Housing). 11
Brent 8100 33 24
Bromley 0 0 The London Borough of Bromley transferred the full ownership and hence responsibility for all of its stock to Broomleigh Housing Association (now Affinity Sutton) in 1992. 3
Camden 22,776 621 Permanent rental stock within Camden, inc empty stock awaiting demolition/refurbishment – we have a particularly active Regeneration programme currently. Includes stock managed by Tenant Management organisations. 17
City of London 3,150 0 Historically, the CoL Housing Department is unusual in that it has over 2,700 properties situated in six London boroughs (Hackney, Islington, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets). It also has two housing estates located within the City itself and this is our specific borough and there are a total of 450 properties on these two estates. 50
Croydon 13692 102 As of 18 Jan 2017 – 78 have been offered or accepted and finalising voids works,  9 completing extensive repairs, 7 awaiting planning for refurbishment and 8 specialist sheltered units. 68
Ealing 12,578 897 27
Enfield 10,931 384 The majority of which are not available for letting as they are in areas identified for regeneration. 6
Greenwich 21,407 429 8
Hackney 22164 600 17
Hammersmith and Fulham 12,176 86 86 are currently being readied for new tenants. 6
Haringey 20,441 80 20,441 (as at 01/04/16) – of which 4,739 are leasehold 29
Harrow 4834 63 ANS – There are currently 63 void properties but these are either undergoing void works or are in the process of being relet. 10
Havering 9545 227 9545 total Council owned stock. Of which 8734 are general needs only properties Of 9545 of these 227 are currently empty of which 86 of these are currently available to let. Fom 8734 of these 72 general needs are currently empty of which 57 currently available to let 24
Hillingdon 9,918 50 28
Hounslow 15,829 179  Long Term General Needs Void : 18, Long Term voids earmarked for re-development (all sheltered units) :  101, of which 2 units are used as temporary accommodation. Minor/major works voids : 60 34
Islington 29651 109 Please note leaseholder property figures are not included in the above. 11
Kensington and Chelsea 6856 52 14
Kingston upon Thames 4574 73 23
Lambeth 34,000 486 Of these 486 are currently classed as untenanted. Please note this includes properties which are about to be tenanted, properties used as temporary emergency accommodation, properties used by the council for decants for tenants occupying properties which are undergoing major works, properties awaiting void inspections. 17
Lewisham 14,559.00 305 16
Merton 639 11 11
Newham 16,005 56 This figure includes properties which may be undergoing essential repairs or minor renovations before being allocated to new tenants from the Council’s housing waiting list. This figure does not include properties which have been decanted and are awaiting demolition or regeneration in the borough. 41
Redbridge 4476 18 60
Richmond upon Thames 0 0 The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames transferred all of its housing stock to Richmond Housing Partnership (RHP) under an LSVT in 2000. However, the Council does retain a small number of domestic properties – 30 properties in total, which do occasionally become vacant pending disposal or reuse. There are currently 2 properties vacant. 19
Southwark 36,937 885 32
Sutton 5,900 37 Data from Sutton Housing Partnership. Including current void properties and those which are long term voids as a result of major works. 8
Tower Hamlets 11884 258 11
Waltham Forest 12,477 104 10,352 tenanted properties. 2,125 leasehold properties. 104 void properties, of which 18 are awaiting demolition 47
Wandsworth 17,097 47 Of the 47, 22 are under offer 5
Westminster 0 0 Since 2002, the Council’s housing stock has been managed by CityWest Homes (CWH), which is a separate organisation for the purposes of the Act 260
South East
Bracknell Forest 50 1 10
Brighton & Hove 11,548 100 144
Buckinghamshire 5 0 4
East Sussex 9 2 This figure excludes any caretakers’ houses that are occupied as part of their employment. 7
Hampshire 20294 176 2
Isle of Wight 0 0 The Isle of Wight Council does not hold any housing stock since the transfer in 1990 to Housing Associations. 16
Kent 30,955 250 Data not available
Medway 3026 13 However, please note that these properties are currently having routine repair works undertaken before being re-let 14
Oxfordshire 7724 98 40
Portsmouth 14,682 189 37
Reading 6875 64 22
Slough 6,192 44 25
Southampton 16269 209 23
Surrey 19005 225 12
West Berkshire 26 0 14
West Sussex 13,893 114 7
Windsor & Maidenhead 0 0 8
Wokingham 3,365 18 11
East Anglia
Bedford 0 0 We do not hold this information. The Council transferred all of its housing stock to BPHA (previously known as Bedfordshire Pilgrims Housing Association) in 1990. 59
Cambridgeshire 540 12 40
Central Bedfordshire 5,223 52 19
Essex 43,028 21 There are currently 21 vacant properties within the portfolio which the Council classes as ‘domestic’ and where the Council is directly and solely at liberty to create tenancies. Data not available
Hertfordshire 32751 265 11
Luton 7,750 33 33 voids (0.45%) 76
Norfolk 21,063 198 2
Peterborough 0 0 Peterborough City Council does not own any council houses.  The Council transferred its entire housing stock to Cross Keys Homes in October 2004. 21
Southend-on-Sea 6009 100 44
Suffolk 19,235 188 7
Thurrock 10,054 54 4

Local Authority Housing Statistics dataset (including imputed data), England 2015-16: Section A – Dwelling Stock

Number of vacant dwellings in your local authority area at 1 April 2016 1

Levels of people rough sleeping in 2016 – taken by homeless.org.uk

http://www.homeless.org.uk/facts/homelessness-in-numbers/rough-sleeping/rough-sleeping-explore-data

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