Over 11,000 homes have ‘stood empty for a decade’ as homelessness has soared – new research
More than 11,000 houses across the UK have stood empty for the last ten years, whilst the number of people sleeping on the streets has soared, according to new research.
New figures show that there are over 216,000 homes across the country that have been empty for six months or more, with over 11,000 of those having been empty for at least a decade.
The areas with the largest number of homes empty for six months or more were Durham with 6,502, Leeds with 5,724 and Bradford with 4,144.
According to official figures, the number of people sleeping on the streets has doubled since 2010.
Earlier this month it was revealed that 15,000 families would be spending Christmas in temporary accommodation.
Liberal Democrat leader Vice Cable said: “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.
“These homes could be turned into affordable places to live for some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
“The Government needs to urgently review the current system which is clearly not working.
“Councils need to be given the powers and resources to bring empty homes back into use .
“This must form part of a wider package to tackle the housing crisis, including building more homes on unused public sector land and clamping down on land-banking.”