Empty property to house homeless

There are 7,539 empty homes across Nottinghamshire, according to an FoI request
There are 7,539 empty homes across Nottinghamshire, according to an FoI request

A Hucknall councillor says research showing 7,539 empty homes across Nottinghamshire is “a scandal” as new moves to tackle homelessness are discussed in Parlliament.

County councillor John Wilmott, of the Hucknall First Community Forum, submitted Freedom of Information requests to seven district councils to reveal the figures, which include derelict homes.

Ashfield District Council (712), Bassetlaw District Council (1258), Broxtowe Borough Council (986), Gedling Borough Council (1253), Mansfield District Council (1132), Newark & Sherwood District Council (1402) and Rushcliffe Borough Council (796) were all contacted.

Cllr Wilmott said: “This is a scandal when you hear about all the people that are homeless and all the homes that will be required for a number of refugees that will be coming from Calais.

“There needs to be a full enquiry as to why there are so many homes that have not been brought into use by the district councils.”

He said the new Homelessness Reduction Bill, presently going through Parliament, will require councils to help people who are 56 days away from homelessness by finding secure accommodation for them, as well as entitling many more people to that help.

Cllr Wilmott said the Chairman of the Local Government Association, Lord Porter, has called for councils to have more powers to build more affordable housing.

He added: “I say what about all these empty homes should not they be brought into use? What powers have the councils to do this? It is a serious problem that so many homes stand idle why people are homeless. It is time our MPs showed their strength and brought in legislation to help.”