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Not an empty promise

On the face of it, Inside Housing’s Empty Promise campaign to tackle the rising number of empty homes in the UK has failed.

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We are still on course for the number of empty homes in the UK to exceed 1 million by the end of the year. This statistic may not have changed during the past 11 weeks, but awareness has and this is where the campaign has been a resounding success.

Almost 400 people and organisations have backed us, including the Conservatives, Lib Dems and, finally, the Labour government.

The national press has picked up our message and of our three core demands - better guidance on the use of empty dwelling management orders; grant to refurbish empty homes; and a cut in VAT on repairs - the first has been met, the second is being trialled by the Homes and Communities Agency and the third is in the hands of chancellor Alistair Darling. Although we have wound up our campaign this week, the fight will go on and we will continue to lead it. Thanks to all our readers for your support.

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