Arooj Shah

Oldham Council Leader Cllr Arooj Shah outlined the borough's plans to address the housing crisis - including the delivery of 2,000 homes, which she also spoke about at Place North West's 2021 GM Development Update event. Credit: Place North West

Oldham could CPO hundreds of empty homes

Leader Cllr Arooj Shah said the council is exploring using compulsory purchase powers to buy some of the 1,000 unoccupied properties in the borough and transform them into temporary housing accommodation.

“We have tried to ‘encourage’ owners of empty homes to get them occupied by doubling, tripling and sometimes even quadrupling the council tax on a vacant property, but still too many remain empty,” Shah wrote in a press release.

“We are now looking at using compulsory purchase powers to acquire long-term empty homes in Oldham and exploring how some of those properties could be transformed into dedicated temporary accommodation, to ensure we can meet the rising need,” she continued.

Shah said that the housing situation in Oldham was reaching a “breaking point” according to her constituents, with more than 7,000 people on the borough’s housing register waitlist.

Those numbers are only expected to grow, as she noted that more applicants come in every week.

“Demand already far outstrips supply – simply put, there aren’t enough social and affordable homes to go round,” she said.

Shah also reaffirmed her commitment to deliver 500 social homes over the next five years.

To help further alleviate the housing need in the area, Oldham has also partnered with Muse to build 2,000 homes in the town centre.

In the recently adopted Greater Manchester spatial framework, Places for Everyone, the borough is set for 11,560 homes to be delivered by the end of 2039 to accommodate for a projected increase in population of 17,600 residents.

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If this were to happen, the most likely outcome – intentionally or otherwise! – would be that some property owners will end up being paid premium prices from public money for houses they will be glad to be rid of. Oldham people know full well not to take everything their council says at face value, but to look deeper into the matter,

By K. W.

100 every year for 5 years? 🤔. Won’t make a dent 😥

By Anonymous

An increase in population of 17600 residents? To Oldham? Why? Where are they all coming from if there’s no houses to accommodate them?

By Anonymous

I was living in one of these empty houses until I had to move in with my mother to care for her after a stroke. Have I had any support to then deal with my home and put it to use for someone else? No.

By Anonymous

How are they going to pay for them

By Anonymous

Everything is done badly. That is why we write and complain. Let us all form an action group to solve the housing problem. When should we first meet and where?

By Action Man

Where are they coming from? Mostly from the suburbs where councils do not provide any housing needs. Nice house in nice places are bought by wealthy incomers (often as holiday homes). Local young folk who do not inherit have to move to big ciities for work and housing. It has been like that for decades.

By Anonymous

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