Author : Chris Georgallis
New UK Figures Reveal a Surge In The Number of Empty Homes and Holiday Homes
The housing crisis in the UK is getting worse. According to the government figures released in November 2022, the number of long-term empty homes has risen by around 20,000 compared to last year. The number stands at 257,331 homes now. They have been left vacant for more than six months. This severe housing crisis is a decade-long, and that is why it is shocking to see more wasted homes being added to the long-term empty homes list. Nearly 100,000 families are forced to stay in temporary accommodation which costs the country over one and a half billion pounds annually. The problem cannot be just resolved by building thousands of new affordable homes. The strategy must also include bringing empty homes back into use. Thats because building a new home generates significantly more carbon footprint than refurbishing an old house.
The following benefits can be achieved by bringing empty homes back into use:
1 many empty homes refurbished can provide good quality and affordable housing
2 bringing empty homes back into use can improvement of the social, environmental, and economic situation of the locality
3 during refurbishment the introduction of thermal efficiency measures can ensure carbon reduction
4 any home brought back into use helps reduce homelessness and leads to the revival of properties and communities
5 any empty home brought back into use boosts existing housing resources
Many UK housing experts are of the view that the government must introduce a new empty homes program to offer funding and incentives to get these homes back into use. Long-term empty homes have been steadily increasing over the past few years. Empty homes were at their lowest point in the last decade. In 2016, there were just over 200,000 properties left vacant. That figure has risen by 20 percent to date. There are at least 100,000 homes with no permanent residents a clear sign that some action is needed on an urgent basis. The government must urgently take steps to bring empty homes back into use, put controls on Airbnb, and declare support for local communities that want low-cost homes.
There are more reasons why second homes are a problem for the housing sector in the UK.
Holiday homes outnumber homes to rent by a huge number in the UK's staycation hotspots. Empty homes in these towns make it tough for locals to get on the property ladder. It can have an impact on employment too. Some experts are suggesting the solution is the provision of more quality temporary accommodation. They are also advocating greater use of empty homes and repurposing commercial properties. The existing economic climate makes the problem even more severe.
Research reveals that past generations did not have the same problems faced today moving out and moving on when leaving the family home. But for a growing number of people, leaving the family home simply isn't an option. Renting unless as a couple with double income or with sharers is price prohibitive to many. The situation is getting worse because of the rising rents and mortgage rates and the percentage of income spent on rent continues to rise.
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