Revealed: 246 Camden council homes lying empty for over 6 months

The government wants to force councils to sell off empty homes to compensate for budget cuts

The government wants to force councils to sell off empty homes to compensate for budget cuts - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Camden council has revealed the number of empty homes in the borough in response to a government call for greater transparency

Figures released by Camden council today show that there are currently 249 council owned homes that have remained empty for over six months. This figure represents 1.1 per cent of the council’s total housing stock.

Last week the government announced plans to force local councils to reveal the number of empty properties they own.

The bid for greater transparency is part of a wider government plan to force councils to sell off low rent homes in high value areas, using the money made in the sales to compensate for cuts to council budgets.

In accordance with the Housing and Planning Bill, councils will have to disclose the number of homes that are vacant – and explain why.

Pat Callaghan, the Cabinet Member for Housing said: “Council owned homes may be left vacant for a number of reasons including major improvement works, regeneration or demolition to make way for new estate’s, as part of Camden’s Community Investment Programme.”

The CIP is a 15 year plan to sell Camden council properties that are out of date or too expensive to maintain, in order to generate funds to reinvest in schools, homes and community facilities.

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198 of the 249 units are currently awaiting demolition as part of regeneration schemes.

42 are either undergoing major structural works, or in the process of being let, and 9 are used for sheltered accommodation.

The government wants councils to look to make savings and release unused land by selling off government property for housing development.

Speaking at the Government Property Conference last week, Minister for the Cabinet Office Matt Hancock said: ““We have a laser focus on cutting the deficit, supporting growth and providing more houses.

“To that end, we’re determined to release property the government no longer needs and get out of expensive rentals that aren’t offering value for money.”