Empty homes to be compulsorily leased

Homelessness charities have welcomed government proposals to give
councils powers to tackle the housing crisis by compulsorily
leasing privately owned empty properties.

Under an amendment to the Housing Bill, tabled by Labour
backbencher David Kidney MP, councils could takeover around 300,000
nationwide properties that have been vacant for six months, restore
them and rent them at an affordable rate. The council could claim
its costs back then give the rest to the owner.

A spokesperson for Crisis said that the amendment would be “a huge
step in the right direction to change the current state where
thousands of vulnerable homeless people are trapped in hostels,
squats, emergency B&Bs and sleeping on friend’s floors because
they can not access move-on-accommodation”.

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