Empty Homes, the national campaigning charity, has a project to spread community-based regeneration in areas with high levels of empty homes. We are following demonstration projects where community-based organisations are bringing empty homes into use in areas with high levels of empty homes. We want to share their experiences and encourage other organisations to look at how community-based regeneration could work in such neighbourhoods to tackle the underlying causes of empty homes.
In the wake of Amber Rudd's resignation as Home Secretary, Sajid Javid been appointed in her place and has in turn been succeeded by James Brokenshire. Brokenshire was previously Secretary for Northern Ireland, a role from which he stepped down four months ago in order to receive treatement for lung cancer.
The Information Commissioner has shown where her sympathies lie by slapping a massive £120,000 money penalty on the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea for accidentally revealing the names of owners of empty homes in the Borough, along with the addresses of the homes concerned.
Having led the way with Empty Homes Premium, Scotland may well be en route to develop a new device for the empty homes toolkit in the form of Compulsory Sale Orders. These would be targeted at 'vacant, derelict and empty land', but in principle this would seem to include empty dwellings.
Following written Parliamentary questions from Labour's Shadow Housing Minister, John Healey, about the housing situation of Grenfell survivors, Dominic Raab has provided a detailed breakdown in what is described as a 'holding answer':
Farmers are being given enhanced options for converting agricultural buildings to homes through an extension of Permitted Development Rights. These allow owners to effect a change of use without needing full planning permission.
The amended development right for the change of use of agricultural buildings to provide up to 5 new homes will allow for:
The charity Empty Homes is now recruiting a replacement for current director, Helen Williams, who is leaving after four years. It is understood she will be taking up a senior role at Locality.
The announcement on the Empty Homes Agency website says:
The charity Empty Homes has issued a press release calling for more to be done about empty homes as the number has risen for the first time since 2008.
The press release is reproduced below:
ACTION NEEDED AS NUMBER OF LONG-TERM EMPTY HOMES RISES FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2008
The campaigning charity Empty Homes calls for Government action as the number of long-term empty homes recorded in official data rose in 2017 for the first time since 2008.
Seven leading firms within the Property Guardian industry have taken a major step forwards towards self-regulation with the publication of a detailed new guide on the legal framwework that protects property guardians.
Entitled 'The law on property guardianship', the document describes itself as 'a white paper setting out the health, safety and legal status of security through occupation'. It is written by three lawyers, including Giles Peaker, who has often made robust comments about some industry practices in his nearlylegal blog and is clearly not anyone's poodle.
The provisional New Homes Bonus figures released towards the end of December 2017 show the number of long-term empties increasing, bringing to an end the series of year-on-year reductions that had lasted since the NHB was first introduced.