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Action on Empty Homes

Lib Dems announce plans to tackle the growing number of long-term empty homes in Wantage constituency

The Liberal Democrats announce today that they would allow South Oxfordshire and the Vale to increase council tax by up to 500% on empty homes that are left empty long-term.

The latest Government statistics show that there were 850 homes left empty long-term in South Oxfordshire and the Vale in 2018.

In response, and as part of its plan to alleviate the housing crisis, the Liberal Democrats would legislate to allow the local authorities 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, Richard Benwell, Liberal Democrat Candidate for Wantage constituency said:

“There is huge pressure from central government to build more houses across Wantage constituency, but little regard for their affordability. Many people are being priced out of the market. 

"That situation is worsened when empty properties are treated as financial assets rather than a place to live.

"I want to ensure that development in Wantage constituency is affordable, sustainable development, with the right infrastructure and services to support our communities."



Notes for Editors

  • 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.

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