Empty Homes Week is a national campaign which begins next Monday, 23 September
Published: Friday, 20th September 2019
Empty Homes Week is a national campaign which begins next Monday, 23 September, and Hounslow Council is determined to put its weight behind it and build awareness of what exactly large local authorities are doing about it.
Across the borough there are a number of reasons homes, both council and privately owned, may remain empty. For private landlords, the council investigates why these properties are empty and does everything in its power to bring them back into use. Certainly, homes left for any length of time can become a nuisance factor to both immediate neighbours and its entire community. These are clearly both a wasted housing resource and a lost financial return to their respective owners.
Council properties are more easily managed, mainly because as soon as a current tenant issues their intention to leave, the council prioritises its work to re-let the property immediately. As of this month, over 1,800 families are waiting for suitable accommodation on the council’s housing register.
In Hounslow, as many as 10 properties a week become available, and the council does everything in its power to make sure those properties are back in use within a three week time frame. Most of this time is usually taken up with repairs and decoration to the property as well as identifying and signing up the new tenants.
Cllr Lily Bath, Deputy Leader of Hounslow Council and Cabinet Member for Housing, said she was determined to make this a priority; she said:
“Here in Hounslow, our housing team is already making great strides in reducing the number of both private and council empty homes in the borough as well as making improvements to them. According to the latest National Empty Homes statistics, our number of private empty homes has gone down year on year and now stands at a respectable 191 homes out of a total of over 100,000, one of the smallest number in the London boroughs. However, I am determined to help reduce this number even further and make sure homes which have fallen into poor state, are renovated quickly and re-let for those residents who need them”.
Hounslow residents may report empty homes by going to this site: www.hounslow.gov.uk/report
For more information: https://www.actiononemptyhomes.org/event/empty-homes-week-2019