Exploring empty housing issues in England and Wales

Empty homes are an issue across the UK and in a number of areas where The means is working. In Wales, for example, vacancies are as high as 10% in the county of Carmarthenshire and 12% in Rhondda Cynon Taf. Our recent team visit to La Fabrique des Quartiers in Lille inspired us by showing how the city is approaching this issue through the establishment of ‘factory districts.’ This mechanism is created by the City of Lille and Metropolis to designate areas for housing renewal and recycling and to identify sites for housing development. Delivery is achieved through the establishment of a company tasked to deliver these improvements which, in the UK context, would be most comparable to a Local Development Agency (LDA).

This experience and the prospect of Empty Homes Week in December has inspired The means to uncover what is currently being done about empty homes in the locations where the company is based – London and South Wales. It suggests a possible role for Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in tackling this issue.

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