Home Affairs and Communities

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:40 pm on 23rd May 2005.

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Photo of Sarah Teather Sarah Teather Shadow Minister (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) 9:40 pm, 23rd May 2005

Perhaps I can drag the right hon. Gentleman away from the spat with the Conservative Front-Bench spokesman, fun though it is.

The Minister mentioned various aspects of tackling the housing crisis, but when will the Government introduce the secondary legislation promised in the Housing Act 2004 to deal with the problem of empty homes? There are an estimated 700,000 such properties. They are a blight on our communities, and we are trying to deal with regeneration. Not only that, however, they are a scandal when so many people, who are desperate to be housed, are languishing on council lists in complete misery.