London,
16
October
2017
|
12:28
Europe/London

Empty Homes Week 2017

In Camden, there are over 950 empty privately owned properties, many of which have fallen into disrepair. We bring them back to standard so they become homes again.

As the cost of buying and renting homes in Camden continues to rise, it is more important than ever that the council helps to make best use of the borough’s housing stock by bringing empty properties back to a liveable standard. Over the last five years, Camden has helped bring 447 properties back into use, including 27 between January and August this year. The renovation of properties has helped ease some of the pressures on local residents, with 80 families or single people in housing need occupying once empty homes.

Two dilapidated properties on Malden Road, Kilburn, had been empty for over two years when the owner submitted a planning application to convert them into six separate flats. In response to the planning application, our Empty Homes team offered financial assistance to help bring one of the homes up to liveable standard. In return for our support, the owner agreed to let Camden house local families in housing need in that property for 3 years. After six months of building and decorating, the property had been brought back to standard and was ready to become a home. Three families being assisted by Camden’s Housing Support Services were moved in soon afterwards.

In 2016, a £60 million Government fund was announced to support community-led housing developments at affordable rents. Camden was allocated £134,000. We teamed up with Mace Housing Co-Operative and approached the owner of the properties on Malden Road again, to see if they would be interested in leasing their other property to Mace for up to 10 years, giving Camden 10 years of nomination rights. In return, the council would fund some of the renovation works. The owner agreed and the buildings were brought back into use in October this year.

As well as working with property owners, Camden has used enforcement powers to bring long-term abandoned properties back into use. In June, the council started the process of a Compulsory Purchase Order to take ownership of a home on Regents Park Road that had been empty for 21 years.

Empty Homes week highlights the work Camden does to build upon the borough’s housing stock, offering housing solutions to residents who need it most.

If you own an empty home and would like advice, or you would like to report a home you believe is empty visit camden.gov.uk/emptyhomes