Lib Dems call for real action to bring empty homes back into use.
Over 306 homes in Camden have been sitting empty for more than 2 years, research has revealed.
These figures, uncovered through a Freedom of Information request, show that there are over 887 homes across Camden that have been empty for over six months. Of these, 306 have been empty for two years or more.
Camden Council has to date failed to make use of Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMO), powers used by local authorities to take over properties that have been empty for at least six months. This is despite the fact that many local families have spent Christmas without a home.
EDMO powers have been available for use by local authorities in England and Wales since 2006. However, despite rising housing costs, shortages of homes to both rent and buy, and the increasing homelessness, Camden Council have never once opted to use these powers available to them, to help tackle homelessness.
Stephen Crosher, Holborn & St Pancras Parliamentary Spokesperson said:
“At a time when the homelessness crisis is worsening and more and more people are sleeping out in the cold on our streets, it is a scandal that so many homes locally are sitting empty."
“These homes could be turned into affordable places to live for those that need it.
“The Mayor needs to press London councils to use the powers available to them and the Government needs urgently review the current system which is clearly not working. Camden Council needs to act to bring empty homes back into use.”
Luisa Porritt, Belsize Liberal Democrats, added:
"With thousands of Camden's private tenants saying they live in smaller and more expensive housing than they would like due to our shortage of homes, the Labour council's inaction is hurting the very people they claim to want to help.
"It is shameful that Camden Council has failed to use existing powers to end this scandal. Local families have spent Christmas homeless because of Labour’s complacency and their attitude of taking votes for granted.”
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