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Masthead Local Govt - Housing

Research finds low take-up by councils of empty dwelling management orders

Only one in 13 councils in England and Wales have made use of empty dwelling management orders (EMDOs) in the last five years, research by the Liberal Democrats has found.

A report on the BBC said just 19 of the 247 councils that responded to a freedom of information request made by the party had used an EMDO during the period.

An EMDO allows councils to take over residential properties that have lain empty for more than six months.

The Liberal Democrats’ research also suggested that there are more than 216,000 homes across the country which have been empty for six months or more, while more than 11,000 homes have been empty for 10 years or more.

The Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Vince Cable, urged ministers to review the system, saying that councils “need to be given the powers and resources to bring empty homes back into use”.

However, the Government told the BBC that the number of empty homes was down a third since 2010.

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