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Council 'should focus more on maintaining existing properties'

Those looking to embark on a plumbing training course might be intrigued to read that councils are being pressured to focus on creating new housing, rather than improving existing properties, one expert has claimed.

Andrew Teacher, spokesperson at representative body the British Property Federation, said that what the government is currently doing has not achieved the kind of results that the housing industry needs.

His comments follow the news that - according to independent watchdog the Audit Commission - 143 local council agreements have prioritised new or affordable housing targets, but fewer than a third prioritised targets relating to the existing stock.

"A lot of the solutions can include empty homes, refurbishments and maintenance of existing stock, rather than just focusing on tick-box things," stated Mr Teacher.

He added that there is no easy one-step solution or answer and that he does not feel prepared to suggest how the situation should be remedied.