New statistics show that Camden has the most empty council houses of any council in England. Its 890 empty properties is up 280 in the last year and is five times as many people as are sleeping on the borough’s streets.
Under Labour, Camden Council has become a delinquent landlord: overseeing both the most empty properties and the second-most sub-standard properties of any council in the country.
At the same time, Camden is going on a spending spree of using compulsory purchase orders to seize empty residential properties. The Camden New Journal has written about it here, and noted by concerns that this is an expensive PR stunt.
Camden should really get its own council house in order and fill those vacant homes before it spends millions of taxpayers’ money adding more dilapidated homes to its under-utilised and poorly-maintained stock.
Just two-thirds of the empty council homes in Camden could house every single resident currently forced to live in temporary accommodation or on the street.
This would transform hundreds of lives and save Camden over £4m a year, which could be reinvested in housing, not squandered on empty properties.
Using a Compulsory Purchase Order means the Council has to pay above the market price for the property, making it a phenomenally expensive way to bring homes back into use.
Sadly, the Council loves to claim everything is someone else’s fault. But whether its the biggest increase in homelessness in the country, the most empty houses, or the most dilapidated properties, Camden has the worst record on housing of any council in the country, and the blame for that can’t be placed on anyone but Camden Labour.