700 homes across Wiltshire left empty for years
700 homes in the county have been sitting empty for two years or more, research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.
The figures, uncovered through Freedom of Information requests, show that there are over 200,000 homes across the country that have been empty for six months or more.
Wiltshire has failed to make use of Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMO), powers given to local authorities to take over properties that have been empty for at least two years so they can be used to stop families being homeless.
Nationally only 19 of the 247 councils in England and Wales that responded had used an EDMO in the past five years. Of these only six had used one in the past year.
Comment: At a time when the homelessness crisis is worsening and more and more people are sleeping out in the cold on our streets, it is a scandal that so many homes locally are sitting empty. These homes could be turned into affordable places to live for those that need it across Wiltshire. The Government needs to urgently review the current system which is clearly not working and local authorities needs to be given the powers and resources to bring empty homes back into use.
Full figures by local council can be found here