Why the delay in acting on empty homes?

An open letter from Cllr Dawn Barnes

It cannot be right that there are nearly 2,000 homes empty in Haringey when so many people desperately need homes. Therefore, I am glad that Haringey Council has decided that it will start to use Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMOs) as a tool to bring them back into use.

The power to issue EDMOs has been available since 2006, yet the Labour councillors who run Haringey Council have until now refused to use this power, even though the problems of homelessness and empty properties are hardly new.

Haringey Liberal Democrats have been calling for this to change for years. However, we were repeatedly rebuffed by Labour. For example, my colleague Cllr Paul Dennison raised this at a Cabinet meeting in February 2019, only to be told that the “use of Empty Dwelling Management Orders was an expensive process and counter cost effective for the Council to pursue.”

Haringey Labour either need to explain what has changed since then or apologise for neglecting a tool which could have prevented homelessness.


Cllr Dawn Barnes
Councillor for Crouch End
Housing spokesperson for Haringey Liberal Democrats



Photo credit: By Ian Roberts - Thursfield Street, Salford, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5765633 via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empty_dwelling_management_order

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