Empty homes in Castle Point, and the Tories are content to do nothing

A concerned resident has recently passed to me a copy of a Freedom of Information Request that they placed with Castle Point Borough Council in the summer (which with the current weather seems a long, long time ago).

The request was in respect of empty properties, a subject that I have previously campaigned on. In my view there are far too many, especially as the Government has given local authorities wide ranging powers to deal with these.

We know that there are 1500 people on the council housing list in Castle Point, and that this is likely the tip of the iceberg as regards to need.

The request elicited that there were 347 properties defined as being long term empty. Long term is defined as over six months without occupation. The request also unearthed that there had been zero (0) Empty Dwelling Management Orders issued.

The Housing Act 2004 provided a new discretionary power for local authorities to take over the management of long-term privately owned empty homes by these EDMOs.

I was not expecting miracles, but neither was I expecting inactivity when it came to dealing with empty properties in the borough. I think this clearly demonstrates just how out of touch the local Conservative administration is. When faced with a large waiting list their response is to do as little as possible about it. This is not good enough.

I am determined to keep pushing this issue until I see evidence that those in charge at Kiln Road take housing need seriously.

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