Monday, July 14, 2008

What’s The Truth About The £200 million Empty Homes Fund?

Many people seem to be under the impression that the government has launched a fund to enable councils and housing associations to buy up empty homes. Nice idea, but unfortunately untrue. Housing Minister Iain Wright, explained earlier in the week that what had happened was that the Housing Corporation had granted an extra £200 million to help housing associations buy property from developers. Amazingly despite this, two days later we find here the deputy Prime Minister. Standing in for Gordon Brown on Friday coming out with the empty homes fund line again. Although as Vince Cable pointed out on Friday, £200 million wouldn’t make much difference anyway, and he rightly called for a larger fund that would allow housing associations to buy more empty homes. The Times summarised his point with this telling graphic.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Empty Homes Up Again

Last month we reported that numbers of empty homes had gone up for the first time in 9 years. My prediction then was that this was the start of a trend rather than a blip. Some people disagreed. Well sorry to say told you so. But here is the latest information from 6months later released today in a PQ
Number of empty homes in England October 2006: 748,159
Number of empty homes in England October 2007: 762,635The anoraks might spot that both these figures are greater than the 693,000 we reported last month. The reason is these figures are taken directly from council tax records, the 693,000 is a sum of every council’s own figures.