Swathes of London’s empty homes have been found to be publicly owned, with local authorities under fire for not doing enough to support residents.
In the latest statistics from London’s local authorities, Hackney tops the table with almost 50% of its empty homes being council owned, compared with 7% in the country as a whole.
This comes alongside figures for other councils like Tower Hamlets, who have been found to have the third largest waiting list for socially rented properties, at 19.4% of residents. Yet the borough has more than 2,000 empty homes with 39% owned by the Local Authority and Housing Associations – in other words there are almost 800 empty homes that are publicly owned.
“London’s housing crisis is the result of a generation of failed government schemes. Accountability needs to fall with the authorities rather than sophisticated private landlords. Whilst Planning Minster, Nick Boles MP, is advocating the development of greenfield sites, attention should also be focused closer to home with an initiative to bring empty homes in London’s poorest boroughs back into use. It will be cheaper, quicker and more sustainable” said Naomi Heaton, CEO of London Central Portfolio.
A Hackney Council spokesperson told Londonlovesbusiness.com:
“44% of all homes in Hackney are council and housing association owned, so vacant ones will always form a significant proportion of all properties vacant in the borough. In addition, a large number of council estates are undergoing improvement as part of our extensive estate regeneration programme. This means around two thirds of council vacant properties are due to be demolished and cannot be let on secure tenancies . However, where there is scope to do so we let these properties temporarily. We usually fill vacant homes that can be let on secure tenancies within four weeks.”
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