Council to Manage Empty Homes

Like much of the rest of the country, Birmingham has a chronic problem with housing. Spiralling housing costs have meant that many people, who previously would have had no difficulties affording their first home, cannot get on the property ladder.

One side effect of this has been that there are a large number of houses, many bought in the recent rush to ‘buy-to-let’, standing empty. Landlords have set rents higher than tenants can pay but, due to the sizes of the mortgages they took out to buy the properties, are unwilling to reduce them to a more reasonable figure. In an effort to deal with the housing problems Birmingham City Council are to Empty Dwelling Management Orders under the provisions of the Housing Act (2004) on 11,000 long term vacant properties. This will allow the council to take control of the properties and rent them out at a more realistic rent to tenants.

Whilst this is a good start and will give the city an injection of much needed housing, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Without a massive building programme of low cost social housing to replace that lost to dilapidation, ‘right-to-buy’ and sales to private developers housing is always going to be a massive problem in the city, as elsewhere. Restrictions placed on local councils, mainly during the Thatcher era, have lead to a large drop in available social housing whilst demand (due to rising birth rates, improving life expectancies and immigration) on that dwindling stock have increased.

1 Comment so far

  1. TMorel (unregistered) on August 18th, 2005 @ 1:03 pm

    Am glad that rule wasn’t in force when I was contracting as I would go six months between visits to my flat.
    Would be mighty pee’d off to have to have let it out to someone and then be forced to pay back the council for the privalage.

    18months/2yrs then sure that’s vacant enough, but six months is a bit too short.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.