Vacant social housing stock in London – Tower Hamlets not too shabby

Data for the amount of vacant social housing stock across London shows that Tower Hamlets has at 2% an average percentage of empty properties with 258 empty out of 11,884 as of 1st November 2016.

Neighbouring Hackney has an average of 3% (600 empty of 22,164) and Newham 1% (155 empty of 15,958).

The Merton average of 13% might seem to be disastrous – but Merton only has 56 social housing properties of which seven are vacant.

Brent has one of the lowest ratios at 0.4% with only 29 of it’s 8,250 properties vacant.

These statistics do not give the full picture across London as they do not include properties owned by Housing Associations.

vacant-housing-LBTH

A Tower Hamlets Council spokesperson gave LW a reasonably clear explanation of the issues around empty properties:

“We use a number of long-term empty properties pending redevelopment as temporary accommodation and at the last count (1 November) there were a total of 135 long-term Council voids and 155 Registered Provider long term voids in use as temporary accommodation.

Empty properties on the Robin Hood Gardens estate are used by the Council as temporary accommodation for homeless households until vacant possession is required for redevelopment.

Generally we can’t use properties that are likely to be available for less than 18 months. Equally, short term voids capable of being re-let to people on the housing register are not usually made available for use as temporary accommodation.

We use a number of long-term empty properties pending redevelopment as temporary accommodation and at the last count (1 November) there were a total of 135 long-term Council voids and 155 Registered Provider long term voids in use as temporary accommodation.

Empty properties on the Robin Hood Gardens estate are used by the Council as temporary accommodation for homeless households until vacant possession is required for redevelopment.

Generally we can’t use properties that are likely to be available for less than 18 months. Equally, short term voids capable of being re-let to people on the housing register are not usually made available for use as temporary accommodation.”

London Boroughs - Vacant Social Housing Stock

BoroughStockVacantPercentage
Merton56713%
Bromley6258%
Ealing12,5788977%
Enfield10,2574274%
Greenwich21,8367333%
Hackney22,1646003%
Camden23,1975923%
Tower Hamlets11,8842582%
Lewisham14,5593052%
Kingston upon Thames4,790882%
Westminster11,8411962%
Havering9,7411572%
Southwark38,5225782%
Hounslow13,0801921%
City of London44461%
Lambeth23,7902911%
Waltham Forest9,8321181%
Newham15,9581551%
Kensington and Chelsea6,837601%
Harrow4,856401%
Croydon13,8011131%
Barnet10,426721%
Hammersmith and Fulham12,351841%
Wandsworth16,7961131%
Haringey15,3111031%
Islington25,8471691%
Sutton5,983361%
Barking and Dagenham18,115921%
Hillingdon9,918470.5%
Redbridge4,476180.4%
Brent8,250290.4%
Bexley000
Richmond upon Thames000
Average2%

Data source: DCLG Local authority housing statistics data returns for 2015-2016