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Social housing vacancies, lettings and arrears

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  • Release date: 5 March 2015
  • Period covered: 2013-14
  • Next update: 2 March 2016
An annual report that presents information on the amount of housing units that were empty, the number of housing units rented to tenants and the number of social housing tenants who were in rent arrears.

Key points

  • Both the number and the percentage of vacant social housing stock increased very slightly during 2013-14. At the 31st March 2014, a total of 4,312 social housing units (1.9 per cent of all social housing stock) were vacant, up by less than 1 per cent on the previous year.
  • Housing units vacant for more than 6 months decreased by 10 per cent, compared to the end of March 2013. As a result, 30 per cent of all vacant social housing had been empty for more than 6 months, at 31st March 2014 compared with 33 per cent a year earlier.
  • New lettings of social housing stock increased during 2013-14, to 24,471. The majority (59 per cent) of these continued to be from housing waiting lists, with a further 28 per cent through transfers and exchanges and 13 per cent through priority lettings to homeless households. During 2013-14, transfers and exchanges were up by 18 per cent on the previous year.
  • The number and percentage of all social housing tenancies in rent arrears increased for the second consecutive year, reaching 33 per cent, during 2013-14. The percentage of tenancies in rent arrears for 13 weeks or more also increased, to 2.2 per cent.


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