More cash to address empty properties

Following bidding processes, 20 successful councils will each receive a slice of £60 million to tackle clusters of empty homes, and voluntary and community groups across the country will receive over £25 million to tackle individual empty properties in their area, ensuring that another 5,600 empty homes are lived in once again.

The number of long term empty homes has fallen to the lowest level since 2004, but with 720,000 empty homes across England, there is still more to do. Previous announcements have seen £70 million allocated to bring empty homes back into use as affordable housing, the appointment of TV presenter George Clarke as an independent adviser to the government on empty homes, and plans brought forward to allow councils to charge extra council tax on properties vacant for two years or more through the Empty Homes Premium.

Communities Minister Andrew Stunell said: “The number of empty homes in this country is a national disgrace - for every two families that need a home there is one standing empty. Empty homes bring down a neighbourhood and attract vandals and fly-tipping, as well as being a waste of much needed housing.

“I’m delighted to announce this funding boost that will allow councils and community groups to bring these houses back to life and offer families a chance of a stable and secure home.

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