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Social housing vacancies, lettings and arrears

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  • Release date: 2 March 2016
  • Period covered: 2014-15
  • Next update: 2 March 2017
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 during 2014-15. At the 31st March 2015, a total of 4,538 social housing units (2.0 per cent of all social housing stock) were vacant, up by 5 per cent on the previous year.
  • Housing units vacant for more than 6 months increased by 9 per cent, compared to the end of March 2014 and accounted for 31 per cent of all vacant social housing compared with 30 per cent a year earlier.
  • The number of new lettings of social housing stock decreased by 10 per cent during 2014-15, to 22,061. The majority (61 per cent) of these continued to be from housing waiting lists, with a further 25 per cent through transfers and exchanges and 14 per cent through priority lettings to homeless households. During 2014-15, transfers and exchanges were down by 21 per cent on the previous year.
  • Both the number and the percentage of all social housing tenancies in rent arrears increased slightly during 2014-15. At the end of March 2015, there were 73,532 tenancies in arrears, accounting for around a third (33.1 per cent) of all social housing tenancies. Less than 2 per cent of tenancies had been in rent arrears for 13 weeks or more.


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