Wednesday, 11 April 2012 4:01 PM
George Clarke has been made an official adviser by the government, in an attempt to tackle the country's empty homes crisis.
Since presenting the flagship programme in Channel 4's The Great British Property Scandal campaign the TV architect has become something of a focal point, highlighting the problem of Britain's 350,000 empty homes.
Estimates suggest that two million families are currently without decent accommodation, a problem Clarke is keen to rectify.
He said: "There are hundreds of thousands of empty homes that could and should be saved from the bulldozers and refurbished. I totally support the building of new homes when it's necessary, but not when it's cheaper and quicker to refurbish empty homes than to build from scratch.
"It can be kinder to communities and the environment – and it makes sense in these tough economic times. I care passionately about this subject and I'll leave no stone unturned in my efforts to find a solution to the problem and get these houses back into use for the families who need them."
The Great British Property Scandal's online campaign and petition on the subject drew over 100,000 signatures and gained the attention of the government.
Housing minister Grant Shapps said: "George Clarke has been a phenomenal campaigner against the scourge of empty homes. His popular Great British Property Scandal programme raised the issue up the agenda.
"I'm pleased to report that the number of empty homes has fallen in the two years since this government came to office. Now we hope to accelerate that work further with £150m of investment and George Clarke as our empty homes adviser."
Some of the roles Clarke will fulfill in the position are to raise public awareness on empty homes and encouraging people to report empty homes in their local area.
He will also look to challenge the government and ensure publically-owned homes are not left empty and explore whether current council demolition plans can be scaled back.
Click here for a bit more info on Clarke's views about empty homes and the problems he sees in the current UK housing system.
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