There are currently 720,000 empty homes across England.
The government have announced an allocation of £85 million of empty homes funding, which will be given to councils and community groups.
Following a bidding round, twenty councils have each won a portion of a £60m funding pot, designed to target clusters of empty homes in low housing demand areas. Voluntary and community groups will receive in excess of £25 million to deal with individual properties.
Of the 720,000 empty homes in England, the aim is to return 5,600 to a good habitable status, relieving some of the demand for homes and improving the neighbourhoods where these empty homes exist.
Andrew Stunell, communities minister, 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.’
George Clarke, TV presenter and independent adviser to the government on empty homes, said ‘The announcement of this funding is a fantastic step forward in bringing empty homes back into use, especially the £25 million of funding for community and voluntary groups. It’s now up to these organisations to think creatively using new forms of procurement like home steading, sweat equity and apprenticeship schemes to make every penny stretch as far as possible.’