Friday, February 12, 2010

Tories to Scrap EDMOs

Grant Shapps made an entirely reasonable point yesterday that empty privately owned and empty publicly owned buildings are treated unequally. There are indeed powers for councils to bring privately owned homes into use, and the powers that people have to challenge empty publicly owned property are indeed weak. But to suggest, as he did yesterday, that the answer is to level the playing field by abolishing council powers seems to utterly miss the point. The problem isn’t that powers are unequal it is that not enough is done to address wasted publicly owned buildings. In fact the Conservatives have already proposed a much better answer to this problem. Last year in their housing green paper they proposed beefing up “PROD” powers to give the public the right to request the disposal of empty publicly owned buildings – and very welcome it was too. So let’s not have equally rubbish policies for tackling empty homes, Let’s try and have equally effective policies for getting all wasted properties back into use.


  1. While I think it is great to be fair as you state at the end of this article, I also think that the Government needs to get their act together and put their very own empty Council houses back into habitation before they go poking their noses into the private sector.

    They need to get squatters and other opportunists, who take advantage of this flaw in the UK law and who live in a lot of these Council properties under the guise of squatters rights out or get them to pay for where they are occupying.

    There are hundreds of Council properties which have been empty for years and rotting away.

    So, how can they insist on managing privately owned properties, when it is very clear to see that they are doing a hash job at managing their own public sector houses?

  2. I agree, but I fail to see how reducing council's effectiveness to deal with privately owned homes is going to make them more effective at dealing with thier own.