Thursday, 08 December 2016

Councils should 'quadruple' tax on empty homes

The UK government’s empty homes tsar has said councils should be able to quadruple the council tax on vacant properties as a punishment to owners who leave them derelict.

George Clarke, who was appointed to advise the government on empty homes in April 2012, told delegates at the Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru conference today that he wanted to see greater sanctions for people who let homes sit empty.

‘I want to impose a penalty of council tax on empty homes,’ he said. ‘There is a way out now, people haven’t got an excuse. You’ve got low cost loan funds and empty homes officers so there is the willingness to do something.

‘It’s unpopular, but I want to quadruple the council tax on homes.’

He also spoke about the need to use the country’s existing homes, rather the build new ones.

‘We need to think differently about how we bring empty homes back into the community,’ he said.

‘I’m not against new build, I’m pro new build, but it’s a mess. We’re still building houses in the same way we did 100 years ago. It’s all so slow and takes a long time. We need to think about innovative ways of building houses.’

The Welsh Housing Bill, which is due to be published later this year, will contain a section on how to deal with the country’s empty homes.

Readers' comments (19)

Comments are only open to subscribers of Inside Housing

Already a subscriber?

If you’re already a subscriber to Inside Housing, your subscription may not be linked to your online account. You can link your subscription from within the My Account section of the website and clicking on Link My Account.

Not yet a subscriber?

If you don't yet subscribe to Inside Housing, please visit our subscription page to view our various subscription packages.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

sign in register

Newsletter Sign-up

Related

Articles

  • Have your say: should councils scrap choice based lettings?

    21 October 2016

    Two more councils are going to scrap their choice-based lettings (CBL) systems. Is CBL a waste of tenant and officer time? Or could such moves lead to areas where families are less interested in their local community? Have your say in our poll.

  • G15: bedroom tax failing to free up larger homes

    17 August 2016

    The bedroom tax is failing to free up larger social homes in London, according to research by the G15 group of housing associations.

  • Scottish parties promise action on empty homes

    25 April 2016

    Political parties are pledging measures to tackle empty properties north of the border in the run-up to the Scottish parliamentary elections.

  • NHF: councils should be allowed to update Local Plans

    2 March 2016

    Councils should be allowed to update their Local Plans to take account of the “major shifts” in policy that are set to be introduced through the Housing and Planning Bill, the National Housing Federation has said.

  • Call for funds to tackle empty homes

    3 February 2016

    The Scottish Government should set up a community grants programme to encourage more empty homes to be brought back into use, a partnership made up of housing experts has recommended.

IH Subscription