A little over 1,000 local homes have been lying empty “long-term” this year By Waltham Forest Echo A boarded-up home in Orford Road (credit: Google Streetview) One in every 75 Waltham Forest homes is currently “empty”, according to the Action on Empty Homes campaign. This month, based on figures from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, the campaign group released their annual analysis of the UK’s empty homes. In Waltham Forest, they found 1,007 homes have been lying empty “long-term” this year, a slight decrease from last year’s figure of 1,118. The borough also saw a drop in the number of second homes in the borough, from 520 to 441, meaning there are a total of 1,448 local homes not in regular use. There are currently more than 7,000 people on the wait list for a Waltham Forest Council home, even after thousands “dropped off” following a policy change this year. At the start of this year, local campaigners demonstrated outside two empty council homes in Orford Road, Walthamstow , which had been lying empty since 2014. In April, a report revealed the council originally intended to see the homes developed by council-owned developer Sixty Bricks but “could not develop a viable financial plan” due to their “significant disrepair”. Instead, both properties were sold to an undisclosed buyer in February. The borough ranks 18th in London for the number of “long-term empty homes”, not including second homes.
Southwark is by far the borough with the most empty homes, with 2,431 recorded this year, while Wandsworth has the least, with only 191.