Pressure group wants Harlow’s empty homes to be key issue at elections
News / Mon 1st Apr 2019 pm30 02:34pm
ACCORDING to Government statistics, the number of long-term empty homes in Harlow has increased by 43 per cent to well over 300 in one year from 2017 to 2018. The number of empty homes went up across England by an average of 5 per cent between 2017 and 2018.
YH reported on this issue rental and has now been contacted by Action for Empty Homes.
Will McMahon, Director of Action on Empty Homes said: ‘At a time of national housing crisis, it is worrying to see the number of long-term empty homes in Harlow shooting up in the last year.
‘We hope that candidates in the May elections debate the reasons for this rise in Harlow and support the Coalition on Community Investment’s call for a government strategy to bring wasted empty homes back into use for England’s homeless.(2)
‘Over a billion pounds a year are spent funding often unsuitable temporary accommodation for homeless individuals and families. This scandal ruins lives and drains the public purse while empty homes stand empty and families are locked out by England’s current national housing crisis.’(3)
Less than 8 in every 1000 council homes are 'empty' at any given time, most of them NOT long term empty.. The council is meeting it's refurbish and re-let target of 16 days ... The majority of these 300 are private houses, and many of those are new builds 'ready for occupancy' but currently unsold. Given the number of private developments under way and planned, this number of 300 should not worry Will McMahon of 'Action on Empty Homes'. He and his organisation would be better employed lobbying government to facilitate the building of new social housing. I invite anyone in Harlow to identify any 'long term empty' council houses, (excluding those vacated for redevelopment such as at Prentice Place) and would join them in lobbying the council for explanations. I do not believe this is a significant problem in the town.
PTY, Whilst I agree about the number of council homes that are vacant, I think you are wrong here in respect of the private sector. The number of over 300 is for long term empty homes and I think this figure can only be obtained from information held by the council in respect of council tax payments. This number would not include homes waiting to be sold. A very much higher figure was given for the total number of homes empty in the town. I suspect that this includes Occasia House, which quite frankly should have been sorted out by now and become occupied in one way or another. The rush to build new houses in the private sector is all about greed rather than need, just take a look at the profits being made by house builders. Better use of existing housing stock and getting the well over half a million empty homes in the UK back into being occupied must be better than just keep concreting over the green belt.
Just as long as these properties go to those that have been on the waiting list 10 years plus and those that work in Harlow and not those just fresh in from the Boroughs of London. Which we know is happening under this Administration, Landlords are buying up office blocks and housing people from the London Boroughs. Harlow people to be put first especially those that served in our armed forces and their families.