Monday, 30 March 2009 6:11 PM
Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, has today announced a £22 million investment to turn the capital's 1,300 empty and derelict buildings into family homes.
The funding, a part of the £60 million pledged by the mayor, will be used to reduce the proportion of long-term empty homes in the capital to one per cent.
The mayor's office said the derelict properties would be rebuilt to add to the affordable homes stock in London, and the investment would also be used to support a repairs and renovation programme to boost the construction industry.
Mr Johnson 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, added:
"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."
David Ireland, CEO of the Empty Home Agency (EHA), said: "We warmly welcome this investment because it's what the mayor had promised in his election manifesto.
"But I think what's really important, is that there are more homes becoming empty across the country, and this is likely to start happening in London soon too.
"I think investing in these properties is exactly the right thing to be doing, because we also have to think about the affects of 'broken window syndrome'.
"If it's done correctly, it's the best thing that the mayor can do."
- uk property news