ALMOs bringing hundreds of empty homes back into use
Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing
ALMOs bringing hundreds of empty homes back into useImage: Empty Home via Shutterstock
Housing ALMOs are managing to bring hundreds of empty homes across England back into use, according to the National Federation of ALMOs (NFA).
The NFA's ‘Running on Empty - Bringing Empty Homes Back into Use’ briefing features examples of how ALMOs are engaging with private landlords to reduce the numbers of empty homes and to ease the pressure on housing waiting lists.
As most empty homes are privately owned by landlords with very small numbers of properties, it is these homes that ALMOs have been tackling as they roll out services to the private rented sector (PRS).
Examples include ALMOs that have set up private landlord managing agent schemes (Ascham Homes), acquisitions (Newark and Sherwood Homes) and purchase and repair schemes (St. Leger Homes of Doncaster).
According to the Empty Homes Agency, 635,127 homes currently stand empty across England. The problem is most pronounced in the North West where 3.7% of homes are empty. London has the lowest percentage of empty properties (1.76%).
Recent analysis by HouseMark demonstrates that ALMOs are outperforming both housing associations and local authorities on a number of indicators, including average re-let times for empty properties.
The NFA report encourages ALMOs to share best practice and to use their expertise and experience in the PRS.
Chloe Fletcher, NFA policy director, said: “Bringing empty homes back into use can make a significant contribution to regenerating our communities as well as helping meet housing need alongside a programme of new build and maintenance.
"Although great strides have been made in reducing the number of empty homes, more needs to be done and we are hopeful that our latest briefing paper will help ALMOs to share best practice and encourage others to set up new projects.”