Community-Assets-in-Difficult-Ownership-520x381The CADO project has hit a nerve! The acronym (we pronounce it ‘caddo’) stands for Community Assets in Difficult Ownership AND Campaign Against Delinquent Ownership. Derelict buildings and disused land are a major headache for communities. Even more so when the building itself is precious to local people but the owner is unable or unwilling to keep the building in a decent state of repair.

We’ve been working with 10 demonstrator projects – buildings that matter to local communities but are stuck due to their ownership. Between them they have been empty for 224 years, and represent a loss of over £1bn. We helped with expert support, small grants and lots of mutual learning, but mainly by galvanising action in each case and bringing the confidence that something can be done.

Click here to read the CADO Policy.

We need new powers
The infuriating thing is this is very rarely about the money. Not that community groups necessarily have the funds to hand – but they can’t get anywhere without at least ‘prospect of ownership’.

And that’s the worst thing about delinquent owners – they refuse to work alongside communities to find solutions.

That’s why we need more and better use of existing enforcement mechanisms, as well as potential legislative change to simplify and strengthen the powers against delinquent ownership.

We have developed a set of policy recommendations that would support communities and councils to rescue buildings from the limbo of difficult ownership.