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.