empty houses headerwaitrose derelictionIn January the focus was on a neglected corner of Hall Green on the Stratford Road, an eyesore for over ten years. Six years ago, the late lamented Stirrer noted official figures: 675,000 empty homes in England, of which 288,000 had been empty for more than six months (DCLG, 2007).

Birmingham had over 11,000 privately owned empty homes – the largest number of empty properties in the country. Despite the demand for affordable housing, 1,100 of these homes had been empty for over five years.

A year ago the figure was reduced to 9,000 empty Birmingham properties

empty houseThe city council’s empty property team was set up in 2006 to bring derelict homes back into use and since then, the Mail reports, the council has successfully taken out 160 CPOs, forcibly seized 38 houses and 1835 owners have co-operated.

MEP Keith Taylor has highlighted the low number of empty dwellings being brought back into use via Empty Dwelling Management Orders:

“It’s totally scandalous to have thousands of homeless people sleeping rough when there are nearly a million empty houses at the same time. Bringing empty properties back into use is a quick win. Today’s shocking figures highlight government failures to get to grips with the issue of empty homes, and clearly illustrates that the EDMOs system is failing.”

Brought back into use

  • 2013: 18 houses
  • 2014: 17 properties
  • overall total since 2007: 108

Keith Taylor’s report will be launched in Oxford on 19th March with guest speakers Danny Dorling (Professor of Geography at Oxford University & author of ‘All that is Solid: The Great Housing Disaster’) & Anna Minton (Author of Ground Control).

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empty houses flyer

We hope that his Birmingham and Solihull colleagues will take up this cause.

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