One in 24 homes in Southwark ‘have no one living there’, according to the latest analysis of empty and second homes figures in the borough.
According to government statistics published in November, and compiled by the charity Action on Empty Homes, 3,630 homes in Southwark are no longer listed as primary residences, up from 523 in 2019. This is a massive rise of almost 600 per cent – the highest recorded in London borough.
There are also a further 2,358 homes listed as long-term empty properties in Southwark, up from 1,469 this time last year.
Director of Action on Empty Homes, Will McMahon, said: “The new figures are exceptionally worrying.
“It can’t be right that in the last four years we have seen an escalating housing crisis while the number of long-term empty homes keeps rising.
“Today there are nearly 100,000 families languishing in overcrowded and temporary accommodation in England at a time when we know that overcrowded housing is being linked to the spread of the corona virus and to higher mortality.
“During a national housing crisis we cannot afford to see over 268,000 homes stand empty across the country because of the lack of a government strategy to support councils to bring them back into use.
“It will be impossible to ‘build back better’ if we keep letting our housing crisis get worse.
“Action on Empty Homes calls on the government to introduce a new national empty homes programme to create additional housing supply for those in most housing need, utilising properties currently left vacant or in need of renovation.”