MP Shapps' empty properties update

PUBLISHED: 18:04 14 April 2009 | UPDATED: 22:08 26 October 2009

SIR – Your letter writer Peter Bell has written to the Welwyn & Hatfield Times to ask how our Empty Property Rescue scheme, which I launched with David Cameron recently, would measure up in Welwyn Hatfield. Just to recap, the idea is that some of the one

SIR - Your letter writer Peter Bell has written to the Welwyn & Hatfield Times to ask how our Empty Property Rescue scheme, which I launched with David Cameron recently, would measure up in Welwyn Hatfield.

Just to recap, the idea is that some of the one million empty properties throughout the UK could be better used to accommodate the all-time record 1.8m families who languish on housing waiting lists. These are social housing waiting lists which have, incidentally, nearly doubled under Labour.

Mr Bell is particularly interested in the number of empty properties in Welwyn Hatfield. At a national level the independent charity, Empty Homes Agency, surveys the number of empty dwellings and breaks that down into each region of the country. I've checked and can confirm that out of 49 local authorities in our region, Welwyn Hatfield is ranked as the fifth best.

Of course empty properties come in all shapes and sizes and these figures include both private and publically-owned properties.

No-one likes to see properties empty and I have recently investigated and reported back on some which have been brought to my attention with full details published on the Panshanger section of the Welwyn Hatfield Forum.

Grant Shapps MP


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