Multi-million cash boost for empty homes

The Mayor’s aim is to reduce the proportion of long-term empty homes in the capital to 1%.

As well as providing much-needed affordable homes in the capital, the funding will support an extensive repairs and renovations programme, boosting London’s ailing construction industry. It also delivers an additional boost for the industry with more than £65million being given to boroughs to spend in 2009/10 to improve the condition and environmental performance of London’s existing homes.

The Mayor said: "In the last housing market downturn of the 1990s, the number of empty homes soared. Leaving homes empty when so many people are seeking housing is unacceptable and abandoned buildings can blight neighbourhoods, attracting vandalism and creating local eyesores.

"Today’s package delivers an unprecedented level of funding to tackle the capital’s empty homes, more than tripling the previous budget. Working with London’s boroughs, this investment will help to significantly improve London’s housing stock."

London Councils’ Executive Member for Housing, Councillor Steve Reed, said: "While there is desperate need to deliver new housing, ensuring that the capital’s existing housing stock is not only fully utilised but also offers safe, secure and decent homes to Londoners is as – if not more – important.

"This funding will support London boroughs in their efforts to bring large numbers of empty homes back into service, and give fuel to their drive to improve standards across their housing stock. It will make a real difference to our tenants."

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