At least 900 temporary housing units in 20 municipalities in the disaster-hit prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima have not been vacated or demolished even though residents no longer have a dire need to stay in them, according to a survey.

If those dwellings are not razed, local governments cannot use the land to reconstruct their communities. But some residents have financial, emotional and other reasons preventing them from moving out, causing a headache for municipal officials.

The survey, released Wednesday, was of 46 municipalities that still provided rent-free temporary housing as of the end of July.