Published: 14th Mar 2019

Chris Bailey of the charity Action on Empty Homes spoke to New Start about whether the massive numbers of empty houses in the UK could offer a solution to the homeless crisis. Many people look at an empty home in their neighbourhood and think it could be used to house the homeless – is this realistic or practical? Yes, but it isn’t as easy as it could or should be. Traditionally, ‘an Englishman’s home is his castle’, right? Although people are starting to question whether it’s a home if no one is living in it. The government has empowered local councils to charge double Council Tax on long-term empty homes. But this only kicks in after two years declared empty. Furthermore not all empty homes are empty because their owners really want them kept that way. Many could be brought into use if incentives or grants were on the table to … (To read the full article, subscribe below)