The Liberal Democrats announced today that they would allow Newham council to increase council tax by up to 500% on empty homes that are left empty long-term. The latest Government statistics show that there had been 894 homes left empty long-term Newham in 2018.
In response, and as part of its plan to alleviate the housing crisis, the Liberal Democrats would legislate to allow Newham to increase council tax by up to 500% where properties are being left vacant long-term. The revenues would then be reinvested to build new homes for the community or to invest in local services.
Commenting on the announcement, Liberal Democrat candidate for West Ham, Eimear O’Casey, said:
“People across Newham are worried about the lack of genuinely affordable homes. But they are being priced out of the local area because of the rise of empty homes.
"Our housing regulations allow wealthy owners to treat these properties as financial assets rather than a place to live. This demonstrates a complete lack of regard for the impacts on local people.
Liberal Democrat candidate for East Ham, Michael, Fox, added:
"The Liberal Democrats will build 300,000 homes a year but, unless something changes, too many of these homes may be bought and left empty as investments, depriving local people of a place to live. By legislating to allow increased taxation on these properties, The Liberal Democrats will fix the housing market and start building a brighter future.”
- Long-term vacancy is defined as over 6-months.
- The latest Government statistics on long-term empty homes can be found here.
- Liberal Democrat research can be read here.