The Conservative Party has published the new housing policy paper “Empty Homes: Tackling Britain’s Social Housing Crisis”.
It’s key points:
Social housing waiting lists now 1.8 million and set to increase as the recession hits. Meanwhile, 1 million properties are empty. The proposal is a temporary suspension of the rules that make it difficult for the ‘affordable housing sector’ to bring empty properties into use. The measures are:
- “encourage housing association to pursue a variety of models for bringing empty property back into use”.
- partial suspension of Design and Quality Standard requirements for existing empty homes
- removal of the requirement for the empty property stock to comply with Sustainability Codes
- allowing short terms tenancy aggreements of 3 to 5 years
The point is well made: empty homes should be brought back into use. I’m surprised the policy paper doesnt envisage a stronger role for local authorities in doing this. Some already are.