The Nationwide Foundation engages with MPs on ways to increase affordable housing

Lorna Mackie, Nationwide Foundation

The Nationwide Foundation hosted a successful briefing event for parliamentarians at the Palace of Westminster last week. The event was held in support of the Nationwide Foundation's work bringing empty properties into use as homes for people in need.

The event explored how empty shops could be turned into homes and was sponsored by Sir Andrew Stunell MP and chaired by the Nationwide Foundation. The chief executive of Empty Homes, an independent charity which helps to create homes from empty properties, presented at the event, outlining tax incentives to encourage the conversion of empty shops and spaces above shops into homes.

Discussion and questions from the parliamentarians centred on the need for the continuation of the development rights allowing the conversion of empty offices into flats and the possibility of extending these rights to empty shops.

The event was very well attended and included Ian Swales MP, Lord Shipley and Baroness Maddock, as well as representatives from a Labour member of parliament, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and the Department of Communities and Local Government.

The Nationwide Foundation will continue its engagement with parliamentarians, raising awareness of the issues around empty properties and encouraging increased support for activity which brings more into use as decent affordable homes.

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