There are 100's of residential properties half built out, laying empty whilst housing waiting lists grow. To 'meanwhile' housing/ land there would be a minefield of tenant enfranchisement rights, maintenance of property etc to work through. I guess the possibilities revolve around the definition of temporary and the permenancy of the property recession. What do you think?
It's amazing how things come full circle. My mum and dad were involved in Greenwich Family Squatters (and several other places) in the late 1960s and early 1970s. That was all about housing homeless families in empty properties. A group would come together and negotiate with the LA to take on some hard-to-let housing. Each family would pay a small rent (£2 a week was mentioned) that went towards basic refurbishment and decoration.
The difficulty we have now is that the empty houses are half-built rather than end-of-life. But didn't we have the self-build movement in between?! (I worked for the Walter Segal Self Build Trust in the late 1980s). And don't we have a construction industry on its knees and a £1bn Future Jobs Fund. There must be something in there somewhere?
You might be interested in a web-based guide the Empty Homes Agency has launched to help local councils bring empty homes back into use. It draws on the experience of councils that have pioneered use of Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMOs) to make it easier for other councils to use the powers themselves. It includes a flow chart showing all the steps in making an EDMO; a step-by-step guide, top tips, and a complete set of model documents for adaptation and case studies of successful EDMOs.