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Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN 30203, tabled on 16 March 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans are in place for local authorities to bring derelict housing stock back into use.

Answered on

24 March 2020

Local authorities are equipped with a range of powers and strong incentives to tackle empty homes, including those that are derelict. Through the New Homes Bonus, they earn the same financial reward for bringing an empty home back into use as for building a new one. Billing authorities have the discretion to charge up to 100 per cent extra council tax – on top of the standard bill – on properties that have been empty for at least two years.

In certain circumstances, local authorities can apply for an Empty Dwelling Management Order (EDMO) to temporarily take over the management of a property that has been empty for more than two years and bring it back into use. Local authorities have a variety of compulsory purchase powers which they can use to acquire and develop derelict or empty property, including for housing purposes. However, compulsory purchase is intended for use as a last resort and there must always be a compelling case in the public interest.