The number of empty homes grew by nearly 11,000 properties last year, the fastest rise since the recession.
It brings the total to 216,000 long-term empty homes in England – which is more than 72 per cent of the government’s annual new homes target. There are currently more than a million families stuck on local authority waiting lists for social housing.
Research by campaigners Action on Empty Homes (AEH) in conjunction with Nationwide Building Society showed that the 2018 rise of 5.3 per cent was double that of the rise seen the previous year.
AEH director Will McMahon said: “With homeless numbers at their highest levels in over a decade, it makes no sense to leave hundreds of thousands of homes standing long-term empty.”
Turning #emptyhomes into much needed affordable housing, across England councils are seeing the opportunity #emptyhomes offer in a national housing crisis. We need Government to invest too, so more homes can return to use, read more in our new Report here: https://t.co/tuB3m5GNGGhttps://t.co/MOj2y1x35E
— emptyhomes (@emptyhomes) September 23, 2019
Every region in England saw a rise in the number of empty houses last year, except the North East which fell by 1 per cent – though that’s also where the issue is proportionately most prevalent, with one in every 72 homes left empty long-term.