NEWS: QUEEN'S SPEECH - Property pressure group rails against housing legislation

The Housing Bill has come under fire for failing to force property owners to lease their long-term empty homes. Critics of the Bill also say it doesn't do enough to protect private tenants from unscrupulous landlords.

The Empty Homes Agency has been lobbying for councils to be given the power to improve long-standing empty homes where the owners have repeatedly refused grants or advice to renovate their properties, and then use it for social housing until the owners had repaid the renovation cost.

The agency said it was surprised that the Queen's Speech ignored the idea, which it believes will help councils reduce overcrowding. It also urged the Government to publish the results of its public consultation on the subject, which concluded in August and was expected to endorse the idea.

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