London Housing Strategy 2010-?

Empty homes does not feature in the Mayor's introduction to this Housing Strategy, nor in Government's repsonse to the strategy, although rough sleeping is highlighted in both.  However, the Strategy does containe extensive reference to empty homes (36 mentions counted).  Section 2.3 contains the Mayoral vision to "deliver anf maintain a reduction in the number of long-term empty and derelict buildings - transforming these into homes for Londoners".

The key objective is to reduce the number of long-term empty dwellings to 1% or less of dwelling stock.  The current figure is 1.1% - so a reduction of 0.1% overall - or perhaps more usefully a 9% reduction in the total number of long-term empties. It will be interesting to see whether the figures are derived from CTB or HSSA returns and what the un-rounded figures are.

Interestingly, the audit of empty homes being co-ordinated by the London sub-regions is of homes empty for more than 1 year - a perhaps more practically useful defintion of a long-tem empty home. (NAEPP monitoring guidelines currently refer to 3 periods - under 6 months, 6 months to 2 years, and over 2 years.)

Boris seems to have gone native on EDMOs: "Where other measures fail, the Mayor encourages boroughs to use their powers of enforcement through legal sanctions, including the use of Compulsory Purchase Orders and EDMOs."  Boris obviously grasps what bringing longer-term empty homes back into use involves.

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