Shropshire Star

Big increase in homes left empty across Shropshire

The leader of Shropshire's Liberal Democrats has called for urgent action after new figures revealed the number of empty homes in the county had risen by 35 per cent in the past decade.


Since 2004 the number of empty properties has risen to 4,891, of which 1,741 are termed "long-term empty homes" by the Government's Department of Communities and Local Government, which compiled the figures.

But across England the figure fell by 13.5 per cent.

Councillor Roger Evans, who also represents the Longden ward on the council said: "Local families are struggling in Shropshire to find homes they can afford. Prices are high and too often the wrong, luxury type of housing is all that is being built."

He added the council levied a 150 per cent council tax on properties empty for more than 12 months.

"I'm proposing that Shropshire Council follows the lead given by the former South Shropshire District Council and use the extra 50 per cent to establish a grant fund to encourage landlords to bring empty properties back on the market," he said.

"A condition of any grant should be that any property so funded would be available for an affordable market rent for five years.

"With the numbers of affordable homes so limited in Shropshire, the council really needs to take a lead on this issue."

The proposal will be considered by the council's enterprise and growth scrutiny committee.

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