Research by the Liberal Democrats has found that there are currently more than 11,000 homes across the UK that have simply been left empty for 10 years or longer.
The startling figures – which have been collated from 276 local councils – have shown that there are currently more than 216,000 homes across the UK that have been empty for a minimum of six months.
Lib Dem leader Vince Cable was scathing in his assessment of the figures, labelling it a “national scandal”, especially at a time when “the homelessness crisis is worsening”.
In response to the figures, the government stated that the number of empty homes across the UK is down a third since 2010.
Durham was the place with the most empty homes with 6500, while there are 5724 in Leeds, 4144 in Bradford, 3273 in Cornwall and 3093 in Liverpool.
The Lib Dems managed to obtain the data through a Freedom of Information request, and also highlighted that only one in 13 councils is openly making use of Empty Dwelling Management Orders – otherwise known as EDMOs.
EDMOs give councils in both England and Wales the power to takeover residential properties that have been empty for at least six months, however, only 19 of the 247 councils in England and Wales that responded to the Lib Dems had used an EDMO in the last five years, with 23,000 empty homes being put back into use by councils.