Mark Whitehead 15 November 2019

Calls for councils to be given more power over empty properties

Calls for councils to be given more power over empty properties image

A major union has called for councils to be allowed to take over empty properties to house people on waiting lists.

The GMB's London region says landlords and foreign investors would be encouraged not to leave properties empty if they knew councils had the power to put tenants in them.

The union says local authorities should build more council homes at affordable rents, but meanwhile they should be given powers to use already existing housing stock which has been empty for prolonged periods.

The demand follows a study by the union comparing the number of long-term vacant dwellings – empty for at least six months – in each borough last year with numbers on waiting lists.

It found there were 22,481 long-term vacant dwellings in the capital, 2,244 more than the year before, while at the same time there were 232,409 households on local authority housing waiting lists.

The borough of Southwark had the highest number in the capital, 1,766, while it had 6,778 people on its waiting list.

GMB regional secretary, Warren Kenny, said: 'Property owners knowing that councils had such powers would be a big incentive for these owners to keep properties occupied.

'It would also reduce the incentive for overseas investors investing in buy to leave empty to do so.'

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker - Early Interventions

Essex County Council
£32065 - £43839 per annum
Social Worker - Early Interventions Permanent, Full Time £32,065 - £43,839 per annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Local Linked Support Team

Essex County Council
£32065 - £43839 per annum
This is a full time fixed term contract for 12 month or a 12 month Secondment.About the RoleThis is a community-based role within the Harlow area. You England, Essex, Epping
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Property and Projects Lawyer

Brent Council
£43,860 - £49,827 p.a. inc.(pro rata)
The successful candidate will have the opportunity to supervise junior staff and deputise in the absence of the Senior Property Lawyer. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Training and Quality Assurance Specialist

Essex County Council
Up to £26801 per annum
The OpportunityEssex Registration Service is one of the largest authorities in the Country, serving thousands of customers in the Registration of Bir England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Business Support Officer

Camden London Borough Council
We have recently changed the way that we work so that we are more responsive to... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue