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Campaigner reveals over 1,000 Ealing Council homes are empty

A housing and social issues campaigner has revealed that Ealing Council has over 1,000 empty council homes across the borough and is in the top 10 of all councils in the country with the most empty homes.

Kwajo Tweneboa released his findings on X following a Freedom of Information request to councils to find out the number of empty council homes not being used – Labour-run Ealing was in the top 3.

Top 10 empty council homes
Top 10 empty council homes

Mr Tweneboa added: “This is all whilst 145,000 kids are homeless in England and 1.3 million people are on council waiting lists for social housing.”

Ealing Council has told EALING.NEWS that the number of 1,183 homes is higher than its actual number of 1,063 as the 1,183 included properties that are not social housing.  Of its 1,183 empty homes, the council said 594 are currently not in use as they are in the process of being demolished to make way for new housing  developments.

Speaking to EALING.NEWS, an Ealing Council spokesperson said: “The number of empty council homes fluctuates daily. As of today, there are currently 137 Ealing Council homes which are empty between tenancies and in the process of being relet. With unprecedented demand for affordable homes, most council homes are only available for a short period once ready let to let, and only applicants with priority needs are likely to be successful in bidding to rent them.”

The spokesperson added: “Another 317 homes are currently undergoing repairs and maintenance to bring them up to a good standard. Like most social landlords, we are still tackling a backlog of repairs as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, and we were also affected by poor performance from a former repairs contractor. We have now taken on two new repairs contractors, with both companies now working to get empty homes back into lettable condition as quickly as possible. A further 15 homes have long term repairs issues.

“594 council homes have been decanted so that they can be demolished as part of our wide-ranging estate regeneration plans and replaced with modern, energy-efficient, genuinely affordable homes to let. Whenever practicably possible, tenants on regen estates are always offered the chance to move into a new home on the rebuilt estate. After their secure tenants move out, we relet those homes as emergency short-term accommodation whenever possible, until demolition is imminent. 43 decanted properties are currently being repaired so they can be used in this way.”

Councillor Gary Malcolm, leader of Ealing Liberal Democrats told EALING.NEWS: “The Liberal Democrats and residents say that Labour have left many buildings in disrepair some with mould and damp problems. The Council should bring them back into use as soon as possible.”

Speaking to EALING.NEWS, Neil Reynolds, chair of Ealing Green Party and prospective parliamentary candidate for Ealing Southall said: “The number of properties that are empty is a real cause for concern. Not using existing stock when residents are in hotels or in very poor conditions at Meath and Marston Court is not good enough.”

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