Kent Green Party: Empty Homes National Week of Action

26 November 2009

Shelter, the national campaign for the homeless, says there are now 1 million empty homes in the UK. Building societies, however, complain about a shortage of properties for sale. In Kent and Medway, there are a minimum of about 20,000 empty homes. The number of persistently empty retail and industrial estate sites in Kent and Medway is uncounted. The National Week of Action on Empty Homes is 23-27 November.

Steve Dawe, of the Kent Green Party, commented:

"Our Government says we need more new homes in Kent and Medway. But over 19,600 home were empty according to the 2008 figures(1), and numbers have risen in the recession. There are over 1000 homes in Medway alone which have been empty for more than 6 months (2). The Government says there were 784,000 empty properties in England alone in 2008(3): Shelter says the current figure for the UK is about 1 million whilst Building societies allege there is a shortage of property for sale nationally"

"Despite efforts by the Kent Empty Homes Initiative and the No Use Empty website that tries to bring commercial properties into use, there is still a general failure to make use of our existing built environment to meet housing needs. The construction jobs which could be sustained over a period of years putting Kent and Medway's empty properties into use would doubtless be considerable. And so is the lack of imagination on the part of our Government, that insists on targets for new homes in Kent and Medway."

FURTHER INFORMATION: Steve Dawe on 01732 355185 or 07747 036192. Contact address as above.

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