Research funded by the Nationwide Foundation and conducted by a team from Empty Homes [Agency] makes a strong case for delivering affordable housing through conversions of empty commercial spaces.
The research report has two great strengths. The first is that if offers a clear, succinct, but nevertheless comprehensive overview of the whole field of converting empty commercial property to housing, which does not shirk from addressing some of the issues that can arise. The second is that it contains a rich sample of case studies, featuring a wide range of partners, buildings, property markets and geographical locations.
The report is clear about the desirability of avoiding conversions where the commercial space still has a useful economic life ahead of it. It cannot be held responsible for those cases where there is a loss of employment opportunities thanks to the introduction by the government of an unduly relaxed planning regime for commercial space (which also undermines the delivery of affordable housing).
Practitioners can be grateful to the Empty Homes team for producing the research and to Nationwide Foundation for funding it.You can download a PDF version via our Information Library from here.