“A west London council has requested new powers to take over so-called ‘ghost homes’ and use them for council tenants when they are left unoccupied for long periods of time.
Kensington and Chelsea council’s deputy leader Kim Taylor-Smith has written to the housing minister to call for an overhaul of council powers to acquire unused houses.
Mr Smith said growing demands for social housing in the west London borough had been “framed by the Grenfell tragedy”, which led to the deaths of 72 people and left hundreds of council tenants homeless in June 2017.
Kensington and Chelsea was said to have a “huge buy-to-leave investment market”, meaning properties are bought and left empty, often to accrue value.
Mr Taylor-Smith said 621 properties in the area have been empty and unfurnished for more than two years, 347 of which are “amongst some of the most expensive in the borough”, including one worth almost £30 million. …”