It’s not officially launched until next week, but ReportEmptyHomes.com is being used successfully already so what the hell. The simple idea behind this new website is that councils respond their citizens. The cynical may question this, but I think it works and I hope this new website proves it.
Enter a postcode or road and the website takes you to a mini map, click on where the empty property is, fill in a few brief details and send. That’s it. The empty property is reported automatically to the council and it will keep bothering them until they do something about it. Councils have the powers to tackle empty homes and I believe that with this new tool they can direct them to where it is needed most.
Cynics also suggested that councils would ignore the website. But early evidence says not. So far today there are 17 new properties reported on the site and 21 responses from councils. As Victor Keagan pointed out in yesterday’s Guardian if councils embrace websites like this it will probably help everyone. So far at least, it looks as if they are.