It is a year since Inside Housing launched its Empty Promise campaign, calling for action to bring the burgeoning number of empty properties back into use.
Although in our article revisiting that campaign we can see that much was achieved (government guidance; funds from the HCA; cross-party political support for our aims), unfortunately much still remains to be done.
There are still almost 1 million empty homes in the UK and 5 million people on local authority waiting lists. According to the Homes and Communities Agency, housing associations have been asking for more grant to spend on refurbishing empty homes. However, more can and needs to be done to encourage this - particularly as new homes from section 106 deals continue to dry up.
Councils brought almost 5,000 more homes back into use in 2009 than in 2008, but still the number of empty dwelling management orders is lamentably low. The campaign may have ended, but the need to tackle empty housing definitely has not.