The Empty Homes Day of Action on Saturday 17 April is being supported by a growing coalition of organisations who want to raise public awareness about the half a million long-term empty homes and homes without a permanent resident in England. Meanwhile there are 100,000 families living in Temporary Accommodation during a public health crisis.
SHAC, Street Storage, Streets Kitchen, People Before Profit, Defend Council Housing are joining with Action on Empty Homes and Homes4All in supporting the day of action.
You can join the coalition by visiting the Day of Action page: https://www.actiononemptyhomes.org/day-of-action and letting us know you or your organisation want to support the day and get involved. All the resources you will need are there.
Get involved and let us know what you are doing! Please forward this blog to others who you think might be interested in taking part.
The coalition is supporting this Day of Action for three reasons:
1. The pandemic has highlighted the health impacts of Temporary Accommodation and overcrowding - it has created a health emergency.
2. The wrong kind of housing is being built – homes aimed at investors are prioritised over social housing, from hi-rise towers in cities to exec homes on greenfield sites.
3. Building the wrong kind of housing has created a crisis of affordability.
Across the country many councils employ empty homes officers who work hard to bring empties back to use. But as organisations representing councils such as the Local Government Association have explained, their hands are tied by weak and time-consuming powers to take control of empty property to bring it into use and lack of investment from central Government whose last national Empty Homes Programme ended in 2015, since when numbers have risen by over a third.
What will happen on the Day of Action?
Campaigners will be staging photoshoots using campaign banners and placards outside empty and unused homes including council homes decanted for regeneration schemes, housing association empty homes and older large residential properties that are long term empty; as well as new developments that do not contain any social housing.
We will be live-streaming a rally on multiple platforms from 11am to 12pm including https://www.facebook.com/emptyhomes/
YouTube Homes 4 All
The online 'rally' will feature live streams from the local photoshoots as well as local and national speakers in the ‘studio’.
We will gather all the photoshoots and put them on our national websites and issue both local and national press releases for publicity purposes and demonstrate the breadth of support for the Day of Action. We aim to build a national picture of the problem.
Government and market data show there are around:
270,000 long-term empty homes (268,385)
260,000 second-homes with no permanent resident (263,000)
120,000 Airbnb type short-lets (London Councils estimate there are over 73,000 short-lets in London alone )
100,000 families in Temporary Accommodation
Government data shows the current total of ‘all vacant homes’ in England as 665,628
In addition MHCLG data records a further 263,000 homes with no residents classified as ‘second homes’. This gives a current total of homes without residents of over 928,000.