New empty homes incentives urged

Published on: 24/01/2008

The amount of empty property in the UK can be reduced more easily if councils are given greater incentives by the government, the Empty Homes Agency (EHA) has said.

EHA has recommended a raft of measures to encourage local authorities to take on and refurbish empty stock, including allowing it to be counted as part of the council’s own supply of homes, the awarding of preferential grants to make restoration of existing idle properties preferable to new build and the encouragement of best practice guidance.

Henry Oliver, the EHA’s policy advisor, said the current situation, in which 288,000 homes in England have been empty for over six months, is a “scandal”.

The provision of tax incentives for landlords to increase property supply by restoring empty homes alongside penalties for leaving them empty is another policy which has recently been advocated.

It was suggested earlier this month by Halifax Bank, which has been campaigning on the issue.


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