Boris Johnson announces new funding to recycle London’s 84,000 empty homes into affordable housing

A £60m initiative to tackle the problem of London’s high level of empty homes was announced today by the mayor, Boris Johnson.

The scheme aims to help deliver Johnson’s manifesto commitment to reduce long-term empty homes to 1% of London’s total housing stock. The capital at present contains 84,000 empty homes, of which 67,400 are privately owned and 10,000 are council housing.

Boris Johnson
Johnson: "an absurdity"

The new funding will be used to bring back into residential use long-term abandoned properties, derelict buildings and at-risk listed buildings, in order to create additional affordable homes for the capital.

An audit of all abandoned homes is to be commissioned by the Greater London Authority later this year, to provide a resource for regeneration work and a basis for measuring performance. 

The new funding was announced at the launch of English Heritage’s Heritage at Risk register, detailing listed buildings at risk of being lost through neglect.

Johnson said: “It is an absurdity that so many properties are empty in London when families are languishing on council housing waiting lists desperately hoping for a home. Empty properties cannot be left to rot and blight local neighbourhoods. I am determined to bring back many more into use to provide the affordable homes Londoners need, particularly if this can also help protect London’s rich architectural heritage.”