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Housing

House of Lords written question – answered on 29th November 2011.

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Photo of Baroness King of Bow Baroness King of Bow Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many applicants were on the waiting list for the Seaside and Country Homes Scheme in each London borough in each year since 2004-05; and how many flats or bungalows became available to let under the Seaside and Country Homes Scheme in each of those years, broken down by county.

Photo of Baroness Hanham Baroness Hanham The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

This table shows the total number of households on the waiting list for the seaside and country homes scheme in the past three years. The department does not hold waiting list information before this date.

Year Total Households on Waiting List (local authority/housing association households)
31 March 2010 1250 (local authority/housing association split not available)
31 March 2011 1316 (716/600)
31 October 2011 1175 (686/489)

The table below shows the number of households in local authority-owned properties seeking a move under the seaside and country homes scheme in 2010-11 and 2011-12, broken down by borough. The department does not hold waiting list information broken down by borough for households living in housing association-owned properties.

Number of Households on Waiting List
Borough 31 March 2011 31 October 2011
Barking and Dagenham 56 74
Barnet 9 8
Bexley 0 0
Brent 3 5
Bromley 1 1
Camden 22 25
City of London 12 7
Croydon 27 28
Ealing 20 17
Enfield 19 16
Greenwich 86 64
Hackney 40 44
Hammersmith and Fulham 16 13
Haringey 17 17
Harrow 10 9
Havering 10 10
Hillingdon 25 25
Hounslow 25 22
Islington 38 36
Kensington and Chelsea 3 2
Kingston-upon-Thames 8 6
Lambeth 18 16
Lewisham 30 30
Merton 5 2
Newham 45 49
Redbridge 9 11
Richmond-upon-Thames 1 2
Southwark 79 75
Sutton 18 19
Tower Hamlets 24 20
Waltham Forest 12 13
Wandsworth 24 17
Westminster 4 3
Total 716 686

This table shows the number of flats and bungalows available to let since 2007-08, broken down by county. The department does not hold information about properties available before this date.

Number of Properties Available for Let
County 31 March 2008 31 March 2009 31 March 2010 31 March 2011 31 October 2011
Hampshire 21 15 22 20 14
Sussex 25 30 49 33 38
Kent 26 18 39 25 18
IOW 6 5 8 6 5
Wiltshire 7 6 4 2 3
Suffolk 12 16 20 15 14
Gloucestershire 0 2 1 3 0
Essex 24 38 27 32 20
Somerset 15 12 23 23 10
Shropshire 1 3 6 4 3
Dorset 11 7 3 6 4
Norfolk 10 9 9 12 9
Devon 2 4 6 10 3
Lincolnshire 1 3 6 4 3
Cornwall 2 4 6 3 5
Cambridgeshire 3 4 5 0 0
Berkshire 7 3 1 4 1
Total 173 179 235 202 150

The seaside and country homes scheme supports better use of social housing stock in London by enabling households aged 60 and above to relocate to specific properties in other parts of the country. It was operated by MoveUK from 2004 to 2006. When that contract was terminated and the MoveUK scheme collapsed under the last Administration, it was then operated by DCLG, and subsequently transferred to the Greater London Authority from April 2011.

I would add that this Government's new national HomeSwap Direct scheme will make it easier for tenants living in a council or housing association home to find a new property in another part of the country.

HomeSwap Direct will mean that for the first time there will be a system in place across the whole of the United Kingdom. Tenants looking to move, whether for a job, to be near family or to a property better suited to their needs, will be able to see all the available homes across the whole of the country.

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