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In 2004, our consultation at Windsor Castle focused on how to make better use of empty properties to provide affordable housing and improve urban environments.

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. This is alongside the pressure of thousands of homeless households and increasingly unaffordable housing across much of the UK.

The report, 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.

In 2008 we published New Tricks with Old Bricks, a report summarising research into the carbon emissions given off both in the construction of new homes and the refurbishment of older properties.

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.


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