Your special report that uncovered almost half a million long-term empty dwellings in the UK highlighted an issue that everyone is concerned about…Eh..? I’m not.
I don’t know anyone who is, either.
This "startling picture of neglect" had to be "pieced together using information gathered from local councils under the Freedom of Information Act," you report, highlighting the underlying reason for this state of affairs – the lack of any meaningful national strategy on empty homes.There’s no ‘meaningful national strategy’ on untidy gardens. Or unused cars. Perhaps that’s an indication that they are just not a problem?
Indeed, despite the complexities and importance of empty-homes work, there is not a single Whitehall official dedicated to the issue – no champion.Because if you have a Whitehall champion, you have….
But perhaps the real scandal was not picked up by your article. You'd expect a government that cared to insist that its own agencies account for the empty homes. Instead, every year, the government forces the country's 300-plus housing authorities to contact all the public bodies in their area to gather the figures.And if they had a central agency, what would they do with that information?
We don’t know. He doesn’t tell us.
Central government should take a lead on the empty homes issue. It should set itself targets, as it did with the Rough Sleepers Initiative. It should systematically examine the obstacles to bringing empty houses back into use, and address them.By…?
It should support local initiatives, maintain skills, develop delivery vehicles and ensure value for money by helping local authorities share specialist resources. It is currently failing to do any of this.It sounds an awful lot like he believes there should be a brand new quango, doesn’t it?
As the election approaches, the parties will want to talk up their empty-homes policies.They will..? I don’t see anyone requesting this, other than…well, you.
Some are touting short-term spending sprees to buy up empty properties. But this would simply fuel the continuing house-price bubble by adding to demand when supply is limited.I fail to see how you are going to get empty homes filled unless the owners sell them.
Empty homes on the market at the right price will sell: no need to pump in public money to get them occupied. If they're not on the market, what's the point in dishing out hundreds of millions of pounds to buy them?So to save those hundreds of millions of pounds, you’ll what? Steal them? Force owners to rent them to the local authority (same thing)?
Why won’t you tell us what your plan is? What are you afraid of?
After all, it’s not like we can’t see what your plans are on your own website, is it?
Other NAEPP initiatives
Empty Dwelling Management Orders (compulsory leasing). NAEPP member representation has been crucial in lobbying for new tools for practitioners, and in contributing to the ongoing development of both concept and new legislation.