Empty homes 'hidden' by councils
Thousands of empty homes are being hidden from statistics as councils run out of money to fund regeneration projects, research has revealed.
Freedom of Information requests made by charity Empty Homes revealed 12,000 homes which were not added to local authority statistics because they are classified as ‘pending demolition’.
The worst affected areas are London, which has more than 3,000 ‘forgotten’ properties and Liverpool, which has more than 2,000.
The data also shows that securing the empty properties has cost Southwark Council in London £2 million to date, and Liverpool Council has spent in excess of £3.4 million.
David Ireland, chief executive of Empty Homes, said: ‘It is an outrage that millions of pounds of taxpayer’s money is being spent keeping properties empty while thousands sit on housing waiting lists. Whether it is an issue of a lack of imagination or willpower from the authorities I do not know, but the ongoing tendency of councils to keep properties empty and boarded up, despite having no real plan of what to do with them, is a national scandal.’
According to the charity, more than 735,000 houses across the UK are sitting empty.