'Council has lost £14,000 by allowing house to lie empty'
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Local Government
Westminster City Council has been accused of letting one of its properties lie empty for over two years - and of losing over £14,000 in rent and council tax in the process
Westminster's Labour Group says that the six-bedroom property on Lisson Grove has been empty since November 2010. It claims that the council initially proposed to sell the property before deciding in July 2012 to covert it into two three-bedroom homes.
However, the group says that six months on the building remains boarded up and nearby residents have complained about its poor upkeep.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said: “This is an appalling example of council waste at a time when there are so many local families in overcrowded conditions and in need of a decent home locally.
"Why are Westminster Conservatives so inefficient and wasteful of public money? Why does it take them so long to get the basics right? This house should have been renovated in a matter of a few months, yet it has been boarded up and empty for over two years.”
Cllr Jonathan Glanz, the council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Property, said: “CityWest Homes [the council's ALMO] have taken steps within the organisation to ensure that the situation with 109 Lisson Grove does not happen again.
“We‘re working hard to provide homes for as many families as possible which are of a high quality, and we are thinking innovatively as we look to provide more homes in the city.
“The need for three-bedroom properties in Westminster far outstrips the need for the need for six bedroom homes, so we are investing a considerable amount of money in making this property good, and taking a small step in increasing our housing stock.”