A district councillor has locked horns with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) in a row concerning 23 homes in Brampton that have been unoccupied for more than 12 months.
Cllr John Morris told The Hunts Post that he has written, Tweeted and emailed the MOD in an effort to obtain a time frame for bringing the, mostly four-bedroom, family homes in Horseshoes Way and Kyle Crescent back into use.
The homes are owned by the MOD, but were occupied by United States Air Force (USAF) personnel under a lease agreement until that the end of last year when plans to close three American airbases in East Anglia were revealed. The Pentagon announced in January that it would be closing its airbases at Alconbury and Molesworth, near Huntingdon and Mildenhall in Suffolk, with the loss of 2,000 personnel.
“It really is a scandal that so many large family homes have been left empty for so long,” said Cllr Morris.
“So far, the MOD has failed to provide a time frame and have only responded to one Tweet on Monday morning in which they said ‘Leave it with us and we’ll see what we can find out’.”
Cllr Morris has also raised the matter with Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC) as he believes the homes could help to alleviate some of the housing shortage as HDC currently has 2,200 people on its housing waiting list. A letter from HDC’s Housing Strategy Department, sent to Cllr Morris in April, confirmed the MOD had officially taken the homes back and they would be “re-occupied soon”.
“It is almost criminal to see any home empty for years when there is such an acute shortage of housing for local people,” said Cllr Morris.
“These houses could at least provide a temporary solution to some of the people on the housing list.”
An MOD spokesman told The Hunts Post: “We can confirm that the MOD has recently taken over the management of these properties from the US visiting forces. The properties need to be inspected and prepared before they can be made available for allocation to personnel serving within the area.”