Empty Homes Innovation Award 2018

Sponsorship of this year’s Innovation Award was provided by E.ON Empty Home Solutions, along with the sponsorship of the Awards Ceremony. Perhaps it’s a shame that this barred them from nominating themselves for the Award because, as innovation goes, a giant energy company involving itself in the gritty work of bringing empty homes back into use is certainly up there with the most original initiatives we’ve seen.

Best Before-and-After Photos Award 2017 - winners

This was a new category in our Empty Homes Awards and it produced more entries than we have ever had, in any category.

Sponsorship from Cromwood Social

We also had a new sponsor, in the shape of London social housing provider Cromwood Social thanks in part to the advocacy of  Abdus Saleh, their Head of Investment and Development, who has had a long-time involvement with empty homes issues as an enabler.

Contributing to the Conference Brochure, the organisation wrote:

New Croydon MP criticizes Barwell's record on empty homes

Sarah Jones, who ousted Gavin Barwell at the General Election, singles out empty homes as an issue where her predecessor as MP could easily have done more as Housing Minister, but failed to do so.

She also claims that the number of empties in Croydon has risen 400% since 2013, a statistic which deserves some further scrutiny.

Don't miss Francis Burton on TV

Francis of LB Croydon is our South West London rep on the Executive and a star speaker at our Conference a couple of years back. Now he is going for the big time with appearances in the BBC1 series The Housing Enforcers.

The link is to Episode 12 (Tuesday, 14th March). Francis is also apparently starring in Episode 16 on Monday 20th according to the schedule:

Gavin Barwell is new Housing and Planning Minister

Gavin Barwell, M.P. for Croydon Central, is to replace Brandon Lewis as the Minister for Housing and Planning at the Department of Communities and Local Government. He is also to be Minister for London.

Barwell became an M.P. in 2010 and has previously been a junior member of the government, including as Parliamentary Private Secretary for Greg Clark.  Greg Clark has also moved on, to be replaced as Communities Secretary by Savid Javid.

Provisional New Homes Bonus figures released - empties down again

The provisional New Homes Bonus figures for 2015-16 show another 10,153 long-term empties returned to use or otherwise removed from the total recorded on the Council Tax Base returns.

The figures are accessible from the government's New Homes Bonus page and were welcomed by Stephen Williams, MP, as reported in the DCLG press release:

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