Empty Homes Week gets a boost from Camden Council
Camden Council has pledged to bring a record number of properties back into use following Empty Homes Week.
Running from 30 November to 6 December, the week encouraged housing providers to bring more vacant properties back into use as residential homes.
Camden has brought 70 empty homes back into use since April and announced its target during Empty Homes Week to increase this to 125 homes within one year.
“We are committed to bringing empty properties back into use so that we can provide more homes in Camden.
“We are stepping up our efforts to assist more private landlords with getting their vacant buildings back on the market and into use for our residents.”
Camden recently led on the conversion of Greenland Place - a former warehouse on Camden High Street - into four flats. The properties have been leased for 10 years to a housing co-operative and let to people in housing need.
Maria is a resident who has also benefitted from the empty homes work in Camden.
She was living in temporary accommodation with her 15 year old son and needed to find a permanent home. Maria said:
“I received a phone call from one of the housing advisors that works for the private sector team in Camden and he told me that there was a scheme where Camden council provides people housing through an Empty Homes project.”
After working with the Council she was able to move into the new home. She added:
“Everything is in very good condition, it is very new. So I think we have been very lucky with this move.”
Camden surveyed local high streets to explore the extent of empty spaces above shops, as part of its wider work to bring empty homes back into use. Where there appeared to be unused floor, the owners of the properties were contacted and through this 14 owners were encouraged to create new flats in Camden High Street.
In addition, Camden has worked with a number of small housing providers, such as Mace Co-op and Atlantic Housing to help then to find long-term empty properties to lease and refurbish and bring back into use as affordable housing. From 2012 to 2015, 21 new affordable homes were created in the Borough through this route.