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Social housing vacancies, lettings and arrears

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  • Release date: 2 March 2017
  • Period covered: 2015-16
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 decreased during 2015-16. At the 31st March 2016, a total of 4,340 social housing units (1.9 per cent of all social housing stock) were vacant, down by 4 per cent on the previous year.
  • Housing units vacant for more than 6 months decreased by 13 per cent, compared to the end of March 2015 and accounted for 28 per cent of all vacant social housing compared with 31 per cent a year earlier.
  • The number of new lettings of social housing stock increased by 1 per cent during 2015-16, to 22,246. The majority (62 per cent) of these continued to be from housing waiting lists, with a further 24 per cent through transfers and exchanges and 14 per cent through priority lettings to homeless households.
  • Both the number and the percentage of all social housing tenancies in rent arrears decreased during 2015-16. At the end of March 2016, there were 72,095 tenancies in arrears, accounting for just under a third (32.3 per cent) of all social housing tenancies. Around 2 per cent of tenancies had been in rent arrears for 13 weeks or more.


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