September 10, 2012

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Empty Council Housees In Birminghamin a full screen map

A report released today by the Birmingham Tenants & Homeless Action Group, who recently made the headlines by occupying a abandoned council owned property[1], exposes the hundreds of empty properties the council are leaving empty, while thousands sit on waiting lists for homes. The report publishes a list and map of all 607 empty houses that are owned by Birmingham City Council. The list was obtained through a Freedom of Information request.

Claire Lister a member of the group said “this is really shocking to see this list but it’s only the tip of the iceberg, there are 11,000 more empty houses not on this list that are privately owned, there are thousands of homeless people in the city plus a 26,000 long waiting list for council homes”

The group are demanding the council put all these houses back into use as social housing as a first step to dealing the the city’s housing crises. Claire Lister said “We also want to see the council seize control of the 11,000 privately owned houses in the city and add them to its social housing stock. Since 2009 there has been a 29% drop in spending on homelessness which has directly lead to a 25% increase in homelessness, we want to see this reversed with a commitment by the council to increase investment in homeless projects.”

The group has said that if the council continue to do nothing about the crises they will begin distributing the list amongst the city’s homeless themselves. John Holland said

“People may be homeless but their not helpless, they could die out on the streets they need to get indoors before the winter, If the council remain unwilling to deal with this problem then we refuse to stand by as people die on the streets whilst there are empty houses going unused”

[1] http://www.bthag.co.uk/2012/08/27/highgate-park-lodge-squatted/

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