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200 homes in North Somerset are empty long-term

by mikebell on 2 January, 2018

Approaching 200 homes in North Somerset have been lying empty for longer than six months despite pressure to build more homes and rising homelessness, according to new research by the Liberal Democrats.

The data was collected through freedom of information requests sent to councils across the country, which showed 60,000 properties had been empty for two years or more, 23,000 for five years or more, and nearly 11,000 have stood empty for at least 10 years.

North Somerset Council reported that 185 homes were vacant for more than six months, 26 homes had been empty for two years or more, six for five years or more, and one for more than 10 years.

Councillor Mike Bell, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on North Somerset Council, said: “At a time when homelessness is growing and we are seeing major pressure to build more homes on greenfield sites across the district, it is scandal that any homes are allowed to sit empty for any significant length of time.”

The Lib Dem research also showed that just one in 13 councils are making use of empty dwelling management orders (EDMO) – the powers that can be used by local authorities to take over properties that have been empty for at least six months.

Councillor Bell added: “These are homes that could be turned into affordable places to live and the government needs to give councils the powers and resources they need to get them back into use.”

   2 Comments

2 Responses

  1. Julián Daymond says:

    Why don’t councils levy full rates on all properties occupied or empty? If people can afford a property then they can afford to pay the rates or they will have to sell it thus releasing it for use. That would be a win win move for councils.

  2. Genene Smith says:

    So who owns these houses?
    Why are they not being lived in?
    Where are they exactly?
    Can the council compulsory purchase any of them?

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