Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Houses on Death Row

A little remembered fact is when Britain had the death penalty there was an automatic reprieve if the sentence hadn’t been carried out within 90 days. Consequently we had no death row. By contrast the average time on death row for inmates in the United States currently stands at about 12 years.

Mercifully we abolished capital punishment many years ago, but we seem to have created death row for houses instead. See this from Sunderland Today

I quite accept that many houses are beyond hope and need to be demolished, but having made the decision, for goodness sake get on with it. Leaving properties boarded up for years or knocking them down and leaving rubble-strewn wasteland creates more problems than the houses did in the first place.


  1. Land Value Tax would take care of this. Unless there is absolutely no demand at all for any profitable land use in that particular area (which I would doubt). If they are taxed while lying empty the current owner is likely to do something about it pretty sharpish.

  2. I agree it would help Jock. I am a supporter of land value tax for a number of reasons particularly for the impact I think it could make on empty homes. But there are other factors at work here. These homes, like many others, are condemned to death as part of regeneration plans that take years to take effect. Once declared the plans blight the area, anybody who can moves out leaving property owners with no occupants for their houses. Punitive taxes would heap more misery on an already deeply unhappy situation.