Croydon Conservatives are welcoming the Council’s plans to adopt the Conservative Government’s new measures, to allow local authorities to charge higher rates of council tax, on homes which have been left empty for a long period.
In a bid to slow down the purchase of homes by foreign investors and boost local housing supply, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in his 2017 Budget, that councils would be able to charge 100% extra council tax on properties that have been empty for two or more years. Currently local authorities can charge up to 50%.
From this April, councils will have these stronger legal powers and Croydon is adopting proposals whereby the owners of empty and long disused private homes in Croydon, face paying double or even triple.
Conservative Housing Spokesman Cllr Lynne Hale said: “It can’t be right to leave property empty when so many are desperate for a place to live and it is unacceptable that homes be left abandoned for years, while hundreds in Croydon struggle to put a roof over their families’ heads.
Clearly it is important that those with legitimate reasons for having an empty property, including those genuinely trying to sell their home or members of the armed forces who are serving abroad, are exempt from this policy.”
Conservative Group Leader Cllr Tim Pollard added: “Whilst very much hoping that the policy will lead to more homes being made available for Croydon families to move into, it is important to note that this Labour Council has failed to build even one Council home in the past 5 years.
Quite frankly Croydon’s Labour Council needs to get on with its manifesto pledge of building Council homes and stop pouring millions of pounds into Brick by Brick – the Council’s own development company which has been established for 3 years, has a staff of 37, a High Street shop, a bundle of awards – but has failed to complete even one home!
And with Westfield with its 1000 homes looking to be of concern – we’d like to know what the Council’s Plan B is for delivering these homes amidst the much-needed revitalisation of Croydon Town Centre.