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Andrew Stunell writes… Tackling empty homes is shaping up to be a Coalition success story

December 19, 2011 3:53 PM

• [Dec 13] Andrew Stunell* writes: AS some of you will no doubt be aware, last week was National Empty Homes week. It managed to garner a lot more attention than normal thanks to a week of action from the Empty Homes Agency, who worked together with Channel 4 presenter George Clarke on a series of programmes that focussed on tackling the housing crisis, and in particular on empty homes.

. . So we've done quite a lot to provide incentives, support and extra funding to bring empty homes back into use. But the crucial test is - will it work? Early indications show our policies are having a good effect. Last Thursday, on a visit with Ian Swales to an empty home in Redcar that has recently been brought back into use, I announced the latest official figures for empty homes in England. They're going in the right direction, with 21,000 fewer long term empty properties than twelve months ago. That leaves us with a total of 279,000 long term empties, a seven-year low. That's still too many. But with campaigns like George Clarke's raising awareness of the problem, and the extra money and incentives from government to help make it happen, I'm confident that we will see even more progress in the years to come.

MP for XX and Communities Minister, with responsibility for Empty Homes policy

• Andrew Stunell writes… Tackling empty homes is shaping up to be a Coalition success story [LDV Dec 13]