Statement from the Chair of the Housing Committee on empty housing estates in London

Following the Housing Committee meeting in December on ‘affordable housing delivery’, we discovered that five London housing estates awaiting regeneration are standing empty. They’re not being used as temporary accommodation, nor being occupied by property guardians.

The Committee will shortly publish a major report on the upsides and downsides of the use of property guardians.

Sian Berry AM, Chair of the Housing Committee said:

“This kind of inefficient use of our social homes is shocking considering the pressures on housing in London.

In our ‘Hidden homelessness report‘ released in September, we shed light on a worrying tendency in London where those who are homeless do not seek help from local authorities and instead sleep on the sofas of family and friends.

It is incomprehensible that there are still empty homes in a city where there are thirteen times more hidden homeless people than those sleeping rough – as many as 12,500 people each night. We really need to do better in finding appropriate ‘meanwhile’ uses for homes awaiting refurbishment work.