The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan is calling on the government to provide stronger powers to deal with 30,000 long term empty homes in London of which 553 are in Ealing.
According to an analysis by City Hall of long term empty homes, the combined 30,000 homes are worth an estimated £20bn of which Ealing’s are worth £304m.
In a joint announcement with Westminster Council, the Mayor said: “It’s a scandal that so many much-needed homes across London lie vacant in the midst of a housing crisis. That’s why I’m working with Westminster City Council to call on the Government to implement a range of measures to crack down on long-term empty homes, including the devolution of powers so that local councils can set higher rates of council tax on vacant properties. This would not only deter absentee international investment, but would free up housing stock across the capital for Londoners.
“We are also urging Ministers to make it easier to allow the temporary take-over of empty homes using Empty Dwelling Management Orders, which have been restricted in recent years.
“Ministers should start by making it easier for councils to bring long-term empty homes back into use so we can continue building a fairer and more prosperous London for everyone.”
Councillor Adam Hug, leader of Westminster City Council said: “The rise in declared vacant homes is alarming as the latest figures show but we know the real numbers are likely to be even higher. It cannot be right that large homes in Westminster sit empty – in some cases falling into decay – while thousands of people face years on waiting lists. Substantial parts of the City become effectively hollowed out by property speculation.”
Councillor Huq added: “We need stronger powers to tackle the issue of empty houses in Westminster.”
Conor O’Shea, policy & public affairs manager at Generation Rent said: “We need to make it more difficult for owners to leave properties empty and deprive locals of much needed homes. A healthier supply of homes will dampen rents which are forcing people on ordinary incomes further out of London.”
Following the Mayor’s announcement, an Ealing Council spokesperson told EALING.NEWS: “Ealing Council welcomes the mayor’s call for local authorities to have stronger powers to bring long-term empty properties back into occupation. In 2022 there were 553 long-term empty properties out of the total of approximately 150,000 dwellings in the borough.
“The council is already taking action to tackle this issue, by providing Empty Property Grants to help bring properties back into occupation.
“To find out more about Ealing’s Empty Property Grants, or to report an empty property contact our empty properties team on firstname.lastname@example.org.”