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SPECIAL REPORT
AFTER
Dumpton House, Ramsgate.
Tragedy to Triumph –
before and after
Sca
n
d
a
l
One million
empty homes in the UK
BEF
ORE
We ask if empty
ll the photographs in this minimises the amount of land used for
development. With house building rates
homes could provide
into the No Use virtually collapsed there are few other ways
Empty scheme, refurbished of providing housing now anyway.
a short answer to the
A
feature are of properties
taken
and returned to the The unprecedented housing need and
housing market. unfolding environmental crises, this waste
UK’s housing shortage
In England alone, there are almost of empty homes cannot be allowed to
800,000 empty homes and nearly half of continue. Across the UK, the charity The
and feed a starving
these are long-term empty – enough Empty Homes Agency is campaigning to
homes to house a million people. Across central and local government to bring
property market.
the UK this figure is about to top the these empty homes back, but local
1,000,000 mark. But Empty Homes are not authorities are the ones left to tackle the
just a wasted housing resource: they blight consequences of the problem and they
neighbourhoods, attract petty crime and hold a lot of the power and responsibility
devalue neighbouring property. Recession for returning empty properties back into
only exacerbates the problem, as their respective communities.
repossessed households ramp up demand
for already oversubscribed social housing NO USE EMPTY
and new housing developments fail to sell. Some councils and housing associations
Ignoring the potential of empty homes are already doing great things. One council
to meet housing supply is a costly in particular is leading the way through a
environmental mistake. Creating new pioneering scheme called No Use Empty.
homes from empty property saves No Use Empty is the largest and most
substantial amounts of embodied carbon successful scheme of its kind in the
dioxide over building new houses, and country, according to the Empty Homes
12 OCTOBER 2009 PROPERTYdrum
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