I have been concerned that the council’s empty properties function had been scaled down. In a borough with an extreme need of more homes, this looked like a mistaken action to reduce costs. The empty property function moved into the Housing Solutions Team, resulting in a scaling down of the service.
The service has since been revived but only as a result of the council receiving external funding from the West London Housing Alliance to fund a long-term empty property officer post. As part of the bid for this funding, 10 empty properties have been identified and the funding will be used to bring back the properties into use. One is a well-known uninhabitable eyesore - 31 Dudden Hill Lane – where an earlier planning application in 2008 sought to convert the warehouse area into flats. However, this was refused. The hope is that this new grant will promote a new and successful application and some decent accommodation provided at the site.