The Empty Homes Agency has undertaken an initial assessment of the national figures. One possible reason for the rise in numbers is the greater prominence given to empty homes following our work of the last 8 years. In addition to the 765,000 million empty homes across England, there is at least the same number of .
This brings the total to 636,777 or 3.6% of the total private housing stock. They attract petty crime and anti-social behaviour, become sites for fly-tipping and general environmental nuisance. Living next to such a property can de-value your own home by up to 10 per cent. The official statistics show a further rise in the number of empty council homes, Building & Pest Inspection Cost up by 2,200 on the 1998 figure, this at a time when the rate of stock transfers is increasing. This numerical increase is nevertheless very worrying and one that the RSL Movement will need to monitor closely over the coming years.
Government departments do not appear to be taking seriously the Government’s own advice about best use of redundant and unused-used stock. The Agency again calls into question the total accuracy of these figures, we are concerned that they are an under-representation. In the past many MoD houses as well as residential properties owned by NHS Trusts have not been reported, particularly hall of residence and bedsit accommodation. The Agency will be looking closely to see how accurate these figures really are.
Over 150 leading MPs, Peers, Local Authority, Housing Association, press and private sector representatives have been invited for an afternoon tea reception at the Houses of Parliament, where they will be joined by Nick Raynsford MP, Mister of State for Housing & Planning.