Liverpool launches city-wide empty homes review

In a bid to tackle the homelessness crisis Liverpool City Council launches a city-wide review of empty homes. Tony McDonough reports

Homes, houses, Liverpool
Liverpool City Council will carry out a city-wide review of empty homes


Liverpool City Council is to launch a drive to tackle the chronic shortfall in affordable housing by carrying out a review of empty homes across the city.

In a bid to reduce high levels of homelessness and the need for temporary accommodation the authority will contact all owners of empty properties to confirm if their property is still empty or occupied.

It agreed in its most recent budget to charge an additional 100% Council Tax for those properties that have been empty for more than 12 months, 200% for those not lived in for more than five years and 300% for those lying empty for a decade or more.

Nationally, the number of long-term empty properties in England has risen to more than 248,000 – up 24% in the last six years.

Homelessness charity, Crisis, believes up to 40,000 genuinely affordable homes could be provided across the country over the next four years if concerted action is taken to repurpose empty properties.

Cllr Ruth Bennett, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Resources and Transformation, said: “Long-term, empty homes can fall into disrepair and are a blight on communities.

“They create an impression of neglect and decline in our communities and neighbourhoods, which is unfair on residents. We know there is a need for more affordable housing in the city to help alleviate homelessness.

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“Reducing the numbers of empty properties will not only meet demand but will also enhance pride in an area, reduce crime and vandalism and mean more trade for local shops and businesses.

“The review of empty properties will mean we make sure that our records and Council Tax charges are up-to-date.

“This work is just one strand of the council’s response to the housing crisis and further initiatives will be announced over the year to increase affordable housing supply in the city.”

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