Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chronic housing shortage

Britain's Abandoned Homes

Jolyon Jenkins investigates the scandal of the million houses standing empty. With five million people on housing waiting lists the government is keen to get them back into use.

Posted by mken @ 11:11 AM (1830 views)
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7 thoughts on “Chronic housing shortage

  • I wonder if MW has an idea, perhaps a tax, that would incentivise owners of these properties to bring them back into use?

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  • I haven’t listened to this link yet, but looks as though it’s a programme I heard part of the other day in the car.

    It really is a crime that we’re squabbling over greenbelt when 1 million homes stand empty.

    This government could really get things moving by offering an ultimatum to owners to register their properties.
    If not registered within a year then they should be compulsory purchased by the relevant local authorities, granted planning permission for whatever is most appropriate for that site. (ie refurb, or conversion or demolishen for new housing).and put to auction.with terms that the works must be carried out in a set time frame (say 24-36 months) or be re-purchased on a compulsory basis.

    Refurbing even 1/2 of the 1 million empty homes would have huge benefits to local economies, and help with the housing crisis.

    I can’t imagine decicive action by this governemnt could be seen aas a bad thing by any voters.

    In fact I think they need to get on with something like this now to show they’ve achieved something by the next election, because so far as I’m concerned I’m not really aware of them having got anything underway yet taht is going to make any sort of positive change.

    (I do seem to recall Labour introducing a great raft of new changes when they got into power in the mid nineties).

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  • Those houses registered by their owners should also be given an incentive to get them occupied.

    I don’t know enough about the properties or owners yet to decide if that incentive should be a carrot or stick.

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  • Stick! The carrot just rewards rent seekers.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    Inbreda – funny you should ask… rearrange these lines __ __ __ __ __ __ .

    STR – nope as Greenmind says, it has to be stick, stick, stick all the way – it’s far cheaper all round, and if there’s a carrot, then this means that there is a cash transfer from “everybody who doesn’t own a derelict or vacant property” to “people who own a derelict or vacant property” which seems a tad harsh.

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  • I heard this on the radio the other day. I remember two distinct cases.

    In the first case, the owner bought a large house while at uni in Bristol, then moved to London. After leaving uni, the house was initially rented out, but the owner had trouble with tenants so decided to just leave it vacant. The owner sheepishly admitted not having visited Bristol in over four years, but claimed to intend to move back there one day, to live in the house.

    In the second case, the owner was a developer. The building had been bought some 15 years ago when it was used as offices (it was a large old Victorian house) and the developer had applied for planning permission to convert it into flats. Although the property had been owned for 15 years, the first planning application only went in 8 years ago, because the developer was too busy with other work. A total of four planning applications had gone in in the last 8 years, but all four were rejected. The council was currently in the process of issuing a compulsory purchase order on the building; but the developer was appealing because without planning consent for residential use, the building wasn’t worth as much as it could be.

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