A report to the Council’s Executive Committee this week (Tuesday 26th August) says there are 1,400 empty houses and flats in the town and Liberal Democrat councillor Alan Skepelhorn says the situation is even worse than he had suspected.
“We have been complaining for ages that there are more than 1,000 empty homes in Luton. Now we have the official figures and it is much worse than we thought. The report quotes a figure of 1,400 and says the actual number is probably even higher.”
“They have had legislation to enable them to bring these homes back into use for ages and all the time they have refused to make a decision. They are being much too timid. With 800 families in temporary accommodation this is no time for prevarication. They should be brave enough to use the powers the government has given them.”
The Committee decided to authorise the use their Empty Dwellings Management Orders powers but Councillor Skepelhorn says that is not enough. “They have not allocated any new money. Any spending on EDMOs will directly reduce the cash available for renovation grants which in the past have been used to extend the life and improve the quality of older homes, particularly in the town centre areas.”