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Newark and Sherwood is the district in the East Midlands with the highest number of vacant houses





Data shows Newark and Sherwood has the highest number of vacant houses in the East Midlands.

Financial services company Admiral has analysed government data and gathered data from councils through Freedom of Information requests to investigate where in the East Midlands most houses have been sitting empty and unused for the longest periods.

The research revealed 29,776 homes, collectively worth £6.7bn have been sitting empty across the East Midlands for years.

Castle House, headquarters of Newark and Sherwood District Council.
Castle House, headquarters of Newark and Sherwood District Council.

Newark and Sherwood has the highest number of vacant houses that have been empty for two to four years with 1,710 houses.

These properties are collectively valued at £359,100,000.

The district is also the top in the East Midlands with the highest number of vacant houses to sit empty for five to nine years with 317 homes.

The 317 properties in Newark and Sherwood are collectively valued at £66,570,000.

The research found that there were 313,471 houses across Britain that have been vacant for at least six months, which collectively have a value of £80bn.

According to the government definition, a long-term vacant house has been empty for more than 6 months.

Co-founder and ceo of housing charity Greater Change, Jonathan Tan said: “There are over 1.2 million households on the waiting list for council housing in England. Of these, 21% can be housed in long-term empty properties.

“While the data suggests that long-term empty properties could potentially accommodate up to 21% of the current housing demand, it's crucial to understand that the actual percentage of habitable properties is likely significantly lower. Moreover, the estimated total of individuals experiencing homelessness is suspected to surpass the officially recorded statistics.

“Numerous factors contribute to properties remaining vacant long-term, rendering the full 21% not necessarily feasible for social housing conversion. These factors may include the property being a holiday home, requiring extensive renovation, or being entangled in legal proceedings.

“Consequently, it's crucial to ask: What barriers are preventing these properties from becoming viable homes, and what are the economic challenges involved? Such exploration can offer valuable insights into addressing homelessness and housing shortages more effectively.

“Local housing allowance rates and universal credit rates have been frozen since April 2020 levels, making private renting unaffordable to those on benefits. We at Greater Change are actively campaigning alongside our partners, different coalitions and homelessness charities to see the benefits rates rise to protect people who are the most financially vulnerable and give them the ability to afford to live.”

“Consequently, it's crucial to ask: What barriers are preventing these properties from becoming viable homes, and what are the economic challenges involved? Such exploration can offer valuable insights into addressing homelessness and housing shortages more effectively.

“Local housing allowance rates and universal credit rates have been frozen since April 2020 levels, making private renting unaffordable to those on benefits. We at Greater Change are actively campaigning alongside our partners, different coalitions and homelessness charities to see the benefits rates rise to protect people who are the most financially vulnerable and give them the ability to afford to live.”

A Newark and Sherwood District Council spokesperson said: “It is not clear from the research whether all Councils provided data on the same basis as the definition of an empty home can be interpreted in different ways.

“At Newark and Sherwood District Council we used the broadest definition when answering the freedom of information request on which the research is based. The figures include many properties which are exempt from Council Tax. This could be because the occupier has died, is in care or is living elsewhere to provide care.

“In effect, these homes are not available to be returned to use. We cannot see from the research whether other authorities did the same.

“Irrespective of this, it’s important we supply some contextual information for our district which is the largest district in Nottinghamshire. The issue of empty and vacant properties is huge across the country and this is no different in any one district.”

In February this year, the District Council introduced a Council Tax levy on homes that have been empty for two years or more as a way to encourage the return of empty homes to use.

It supports the Council and Government’s policy in helping to reduce the number of empty homes by giving the highest incentive to owners to bring the properties back into use.



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