Busy February ahead for Empty Homes in Parliament and on BBC

In this edition of your Action on Empty Homes news, we have some key diary dates for February, with a new publication from the Coalition for Community Investment, and details of the upcoming broadcast of the new BBC series on empty homes.

As always, we welcome your feedback on all stories in this newsletter.

New Coalition publication to advocate Government investment

Action on Empty Homes will be launching a new publication as part of our Coalition for Community Investment campaign in February. The publication will be introduced in Parliament at the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Housing in the North on 26 February 2019 in Committee Room 5. Everyone who reads this newsletter will get a copy of the new publication in their inbox on the day.

Matt Allwright will present the BBC’s new series on Empty Homes this February

Where is the BBC series on empty homes? …Here!

Readers may remember that in October last year the BBC announced that a new series on empty homes was in production. The five-part series titled The Empty Housing Scandal presented by Matt Allwright (pictured above) is now scheduled for broadcast on BBC One from the 11th to 15th February at 9.15am (Monday to Friday) – so set your digi-boxes to ‘Record’.

Durham County Council considers buying empty homes to help those facing homelessness

The council has been asked to approve a request for £500,000 to buy and renovate ten empty properties. If purchased, the ten properties would remain assets of the council, but would be leased to organisations that help people affected by homelessness secure and maintain tenancies. You can read more here

20,000 views of new empty homes film

The new HuffPost film on the drive to bring empty homes back into use has already been watched over 20,000 times. You can watch the film here

Oakland’s vacant-property tax ring-fences cash to support housing and homeless

In California, Oakland voters have supported a tax that applies to any privately-owned property in the city that is not ‘in use’ for more than 50 days in a calendar year starting in 2019. The annual tax is $6,000 per parcel for most properties, regardless of size or value. Oakland’s City Council say the tax would raise $10 million annually, which can only be used for homeless services, affordable housing, programs to fight blight and illegal dumping, administration of the tax and to defend any possible lawsuits. You can read more here

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