Homes in Southwark are being left empty for months outraging local people in desperate need of a new home.
The average relet time for minor voids in Southwark has been rising over the period Labour has been in power in Southwark and has now reached an average of 128 days. In comparison, the neighbouring borough of Tower Hamlets has an average relet time of just 23 days.
This damning revelation, alongside news that Southwark continues to be home to the highest number of vacant properties across the whole of London, will do little to appease those in drastic need of new housing both on the private market and through the local authority. Recent statistics showed that there are currently 5041 vacant homes in Southwark, significantly higher than any other borough across London, with 691 of those owned by the Council.
Local resident, Trudy, who lives on the Dickens Estate, highlighted the issue,
“My neighbour passed away and it took the council almost a year to re-let the property. This was terrible, especially as the new tenant was downsizing from a large family home so the delay had a knock on effect for another family as well as this one. The council seemed to do nothing about the property at all, until I contacted my local councillor, Anood Al-Samerai. It was shocking that it was left empty like this for so long when there are so many people desperate for homes.”
Southwark Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Councillor Anood Al-Samerai, added:
“With close to 10,000 people currently on the council housing waiting list and a growing number of overcrowded households in Southwark, the Labour administration is overseeing a genuine housing crisis here in our borough. Homes are staying empty for way too long and when tenants are found for properties, they are often unhappy with the condition of the property they move into.”
“Trudy’s story is not an isolated case and mirrors exactly what I am hearing when I am out speaking to residents. Liberal Democrats will continue to fight residents’ corner and push the council to increase the housing supply here in Southwark and let out council properties quicker.”