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UK Housing Policy and Practice

Empty Properties

Introduction

In 2004, BSHF held a Consultation at St George’s House, Windsor Castle to identify how to better use empty properties to provide affordable housing and improve urban environments. There are currently (2014) over 900,000 empty homes across the UK, of which 330,000 have been empty for more than six months. Nearly 25,000 of these long-term empty homes are in London, where there are thousands of homeless households and where the need for affordable housing is generating severe economic and social pressures both locally and nationally.

The number of long-term empty homes has continued to increase, despite huge efforts being made to encourage homeowners to bring them back into use.

The consultation, Recycling the City, identified practical ways in which public agencies can work together with local communities, NGOs and the private sector to address the challenges presented by empty properties.

Furthermore, our December 2010 consultation on Self-Help Housing, examined how community groups can work to bring empty properties back into use at the same time as meeting a range of wider social goals.