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Concern over number of empty houses across city.

Byline: FIONNULA HAINEY News Reporter

AN alarming number of homes in Coventry are empty despite concerns over a national housing shortage.

Research done by the BBC shows that 1,150 homes in Coventry were empty in the year 2016.

That works out at around one empty home for every 300 people in the city and 11 empty homes per square kilometre.

The research looks into the number of homes that are classed empty long-term, meaning they have been unoccupied for six months or longer.

The figures reveal that between 2010 and 2016, there was a 27 per cent decrease in the number of empty homes in Coventry.

In the year 2010 there were 1,565 empty homes in Coventry and the lowest number recorded since then was 1,080 in 2015.

PSIn Warwickshire the latest figures show 2,339 empty homes - a decrease of 18 per cent since 2010.

That works out at one empty home for every 238 people and one for every square kilometre.

walking sticks The Department for Communities and Local Government said the government had brought more than 100,000 empty properties back into use since 2010.

grab rails However, there remains around 200,000 longterm empty homes in England, 34,000 in Scotland PSaccessories and 26,500 in Wales. Despite a significant number of houses remaining empty in Coventry, there are plans to build thousands of new homes in the city in line with estimated population growth figures. Earlier this month the city council's Local Plan revealed plans to build 25,000 new homes over the next 14 years, resulting in the loss of 10 per cent of the city's green belt. A further 18,000 needed to house the city's estimated future population have been allocated to areas of Warwickshire.

PSclothing There area number of reasons homes may be left empty for longer than six months.

Relax Save up See in-store for Houses that are in need of repair prior to being occupied may remain empty due to financial constraints and other factors.

In deprived areas where there is a lack of new housing, homes can be left empty because the area is seen as undesirable or rundown.

The 'buy to leave' phenomenon, in which houses are bought without the intention of them being occupied, sees houses being left empty by owners while they increase in value.

Local authorities can charge up to a 50 per cent premium on the council tax if a dwelling has been empty for two years or more. However, earlier this week, the Chancellor spoke about allowing councils to levy 100% extra council tax on those properties.

They can also place Compulsory Purchase Orders on empty homes that are blocking regeneration projects and take ownership of a property to rent out under an Empty Dwelling Management Order.

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 25, 2017
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