The number of empty homes has reached 726,000 in England, new research shows.
Campaign group Empty Homes released the data to coincide with the seventeenth National Empty Homes Week, which began yesterday. The number of empty homes is up 20,000 on last year, and is thought to be one million across the UK.
The group is calling on the public to help by identifying the empty properties they would like to see returned to use as homes. Individuals can report empty homes on the Empty Homes website, and details of all reported properties will be sent to the relevant local council.
Empty Homes chief executive David Ireland said: ‘House building is at an all time low, housing need at an all time high, and yet still the numbers of empty homes are rising. It is clear market forces alone will not turn empty property into homes, we need people to help.
‘We are asking people to tell us about neglected properties and local eyesores that they want to see lived in again. The government has announced it will make £100 million available to help get empty homes into us. We want people to have a say where it needs to be spent. Getting homes into use is a cost-effective way of creating more housing. But we want to see this money spent where it will provide homes and make a real difference to people.’
In October’s comprehensive spending review the government announced £100 million would be invested in bringing empty homes into use. Further details are due to be announced by the government shortly.