Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum by Places for People (EMP 69)

EMPTY HOMES

  Over the last five years it could be argued that two distinct views about the causes of empty housing have gained credence. One is that the management practices and investment polices of public agencies have been inefficient and have resulted in homes not being let.

  The other—as exemplified in the CURS study "Changing Housing Markets and Urban Regeneration in the M62 Corridor",—is that empty homes are the consequences of long term economic change and changing customer expectations and demand, resulting in the severe dislocation of housing markets. Unlike the first interpretation this interpretation of low demand and housing market changes is readily identifiable geographically and quantifiably.

  The Places for People Group operates across 200 local authority areas. It includes NBH, the largest RSL in the UK with over 40,000 homes. The Group has invested heavily over the years in housing markets, which now exhibit low demand. This was when different Housing Corporation grant regimes pertained. In hindsight, some government programmes, like Estate Action, have not contributed to long-term neighbourhood sustainability as they focused too heavily on housing.


 
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