Committee on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister Press Notice

Session 2004-05  16 December 2004



The Committee has resolved to carry out an inquiry which follows up its predecessor Committee’s report into Empty Homes  published in 2002* with particular reference to the following issues:

(a) The scope and scale of the initiatives proposed and underway in the Government’s Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder areas and other areas with problems of  empty homes

(b) The commitment and contribution of all Government departments and other agencies to tackling the underlying causes of empty homes

(c) The availability of resources outside the pathfinder areas and the development of  strategies  to deal with weak housing markets

(d) The dissemination of good practice, innovation and co-ordinated interventions within and outside pathfinder areas

(e) Whether Councils have sufficient powers to tackle  the problem of empty homes in their areas

(f) The  priority given to the  demolition of homes and the consideration given to effective methods of refurbishment

(g) The availability of the necessary skills and training to support staff promoting projects to tackle the needs of areas with  weak housing markets

(h) How  housing market renewal is addressed in other strategies including local and regional plans and other regeneration programmes

(i) How Pathfinders are seeking to involve the private sector in their long term planning and programmes.

The Committee invites written evidence on the points above and other relevant topics by 21 January  2005. It is unlikely that evidence submitted after this date will be published. (Witnesses who wish their evidence to be treated in confidence should contact the Committee clerk in advance.) It should also be noted that decisions about who to call for oral evidence are likely to be taken on the basis of evidence received by this date. [The form which such evidence should take is set out below B please note in particular the restriction on length and that wherever possible it should be submitted by e-mail or on disk].

Oral evidence sessions will be arranged and will be announced in due course.

*Transport, Local Government and the Regions Committee Sixth Report ‘Empty Homes’, HC 204-I, Session 2001-02

Contact: Ben Kochan, Committee Specialist 020 7 219 1342


Written evidence must if possible be submitted in an electronic format, either on disk or preferably by e-mail. It should be in MS Word or Rich Text format.  If sent by e-mail it should for this inquiry be sent to  The e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from. If sent by post it should be sent to the Clerk, ODPM Committee, Committee Office, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA. Witnesses without access to a computer are respectfully requested to take particular care that submissions are legible.

Submissions should be as brief as possible, and certainly no more than 3,000 words. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and it would be helpful to include a brief executive summary. Those submitting evidence are reminded that evidence should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted no public use should be made of it. Guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at

Further details of the Committee, including its current membership, can be found on the Committee's homepage at  Information about the Committee can also be obtained from 020 7219 4972.