Homes worth more than £157 million are being wasted in Northamptonshire

A total of 1,068 homes have sat empty across Northamptonshire for longer than six months, as of February this year.
A total of 1,068 homes have sat empty across Northamptonshire for longer than six months, as of February this year.

More than 1,000 homes worth some £157 million have sat empty in Northamptonshire for longer than six months, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

More than 278,000 homes have sat empty across England, Scotland and Wales for longer than six months, with 1,068 of those in Northamptonshire alone.

Our county's empty homes are worth more than £157 million, the shocking new figures reveal.

The statistics have been revealed by insurance company Admiral, which combined Government figures with data it obtained from local councils via hundreds of Freedom of information requests.

The figures also unveiled where the empty homes "crisis" was most severe in the UK, Admiral claimed.

East Northamptonshire ranked as the 55th worst local authority in the country with 12.6 long-term empty homes for every 1,000, where long-term is classed as being empty for at least six months.

Northampton was ranked 249th with 5.9 for every 1,000 properties and South Northamptonshire was 301st with 3.9 per every 1,000 houses.

A total of 427 councils responded to the Admiral survey, with the figures collated in February of this year.

However, Wellingborough was the fifth-worst council in the whole country for homes that had been vacant in their district for longer than six months, with 17.3 in every 1,000 homes being vacant for between two and four years.

A Government bill, released in October 2018, saw that all local authorities in England have the power to charge people whose dwellings have been empty for at least two years an extra 50 per cent on their council tax bill, and more recently (from April, 2019), an increase to 100 per cent.

The charity Empty Homes had estimated that more than one million properties are lying empty across the UK, while two million families are in desperate need of a suitable home.

Of those properties, some 350,000 had been empty for more than six months, the charity claimed.

Across Europe, the figure is thought to be 11 million.

The Big Issue magazine has been running a campaign on the issue since 2015 which it has dubbed the "Fill ‘Em Up campaign".

For more information on the Admiral study, visit the website www.admiral.com/multicover-insurance/home-alone/