More than 11,000 homes across the country have been lying empty for longer than a decade despite the housing crisis and rising homelessness, according to new research by the Liberal Democrats.
The data was collected through freedom of information requests to about 275 councils, which showed 60,000 properties had been empty for two years or more, 23,000 for five years or more, and over 11,000 have stood empty for at least 10 years.
Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats, told the Guardian: “At a time when the homelessness crisis is worsening and more and more people are sleeping out in the cold on our streets, it is a national scandal that thousands of homes across the country are sitting empty.”
One of the annoying aspects of housing policy is the way in which political parties misuse and misrepresent data. Now while it is a legitimate concern that houses are empty for a long period (though why they are empty would be useful to know), what about all those ’empty’ houses used for holiday lets, holiday homes etc? A far larger number than the number of empty homes!
[Oh and it would be better if Sir Vince did not continue to ignore the role played by his party in making it harder for poorer people to stay in accommodation due to welfare cuts!]