The government has appointed George Clarke as an independent adviser on empty homes.
The renowned architect and television presenter will provide expert advice on how to tackle the one million empty properties across the country.
Mr Clarke recently presented a series of programmes, ‘The Great British Property Scandal’ on Channel 4 that highlighted the scale of the empty housing problem.
Recent government efforts to tackle the issue involve a £150m fund to tackle empty homes. With £70m of this fund being used to bring 5,600 empty properties back into use, £30m for community groups and a further £50m focused on empty property clusters.
Local authorities can currently apply for an ‘Empty Dwelling Management Orders’ to deal with properties that have been vacant for over six months. In these cases councils will work with the owner of the property to bring them back into a state of repair and into use via the rental market, with the profits going back to the owner minus the council’s costs.
Announcing the appointment communities minister Andrew Stunell said: “I am delighted that George Clarke has agreed to work with us as we pull out all the stops to end the national scandal of empty homes.
“For every two families needing a home, there’s a property standing empty - properties that, all too often, attract squatters, vandalism and fly-tipping. That’s why over the past year, I’ve made £150m available to bring these homes back into use.
“George’s appointment as our independent adviser on this issue will give these efforts a real boost, and I look forward to seeing how communities benefit from his help and advice, and seeing more families benefiting from a secure, stable home as more empty properties are brought back into use.”