HCA Empty Homes Debate

October 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Latest News

“The Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) have published the results of their online debate on how best to maximise the use of empty homes” writes Jon Fitzmaurice, Director, Self-Help-Housing.Org. “It’s very encouraging that the HCA decided to highlight empty property in this way and there were a number of interesting posts in support of local community driven organisations being given direct access to Temporary Social Housing Grant from the HCA. We’re told that the Housing Minister, the Rt. Hon Grant Shapps took a personal interest in the debate and one hopes that this message has got through. Time will tell! The document can be accessed here.”

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Hackney Council tackles empty homes

May 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Other News

London Housing News reports that Hackney Council has been taking action to bring empty properties back into use:

“The council has helped create 221 new homes from empty properties in the borough in the past two years, for renting by those on the council’s housing waiting list, and has also recruited a dedicated officer to work on the issue.

Grant funding worth several thousands of pounds is available through the council for landlords wanting to return empty properties into use for renting, and owners, neighbours, developers and estate agents should make contact to find out more about available options.”

Full story here.

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MOD criticised over empty properties

January 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Other News

Almost 8,000 homes for Armed Forces families are standing empty despite the Ministry of Defence spending £17m a year renting substitute properties reports Housing News.

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Number of long-term empty private homes above 300,000

November 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Other News

Regen.net reports that the number of private homes standing empty for more than six months has risen above 300,000 for the first time in five years.

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Call for action during Empty Homes Week

November 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Latest News

The National Week of Action on Empty Homes will run from November 22-29. The week is organised by the Empty Homes Agency to highlight the growing crisis of empty homes in the face of housing need.

The Empty Homes Agency estimates that numbers of empty homes across the UK has reached one million for the first time in more than a decade. Amazingly the figures may be an underestimate, as government does not reveal how many empty homes it owns itself.

At the same time half a million families live in overcrowded conditions. House building has slowed to the lowest rate since the 1920s. The Empty Homes Agency will show how the country’s housing crisis could be eased by a concerted effort to turn empty properties into homes.

The Empty Homes Agency will be calling on the government to disclose details of its own empty property, and will be highlighting what people can do to get publicly owned empty homes into use. It will also be highlighting how communities are already making new homes out of empty property.

The Empty Homes Agency’s chief executive, David Ireland, told self-help-housing.org: “The most effective action to bring new life to empty homes is nearly always that driven by the community in which the homes lie. The very best examples of these are housing cooperatives and self-help agencies.  Not only do they develop homes,  they help people develop their own skills and talents. It’s a great way for people to litteraly help rebuild their communities. We are calling on the government to properly recognise the extraordinary work these organisations do  and allow them to compete for housing funding in the same way as registered housing associations.”

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