Revealed: More than 3,700 Norfolk homes have been empty for at least six months
- Credit: Archant © 2004
More than 3,700 homes in Norfolk have stood empty for more than six months, new figures have revealed, with the number increasing by almost 450 over the past year.
Information drawn from government statistics showed the number of long-term empty properties increased in all council districts of Norfolk, bar one.
The number of such empty homes increased by 13pc, up from 3,351 in 2018 to 3,797 in 2019.
The biggest increase in Norfolk was in Broadland, where there was a rise of more than 56pc, from 222 to 347.
South Norfolk was the only part of the county to see a fall - down just under 20pc from 356 to 285.
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In Norwich, the number went up by just over 20pc, from 462 to 560, but the council said it makes efforts to get them back into use.
A spokeswoman for Norwich City Council said “Where possible, we contact owners with help and advice to encourage them to bring properties back into use.
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“This includes publicising our ‘Let Norwich City Council’ scheme, which offers significant benefits to owners in return for homes being made available for letting through the council.
“Under the scheme, the council rents the property for four years, and provides it to people on the housing register or threatened with homelessness.
“We also charge an additional 50pc council tax on homes that have been empty for two years.”
The most long-term empty homes were in West Norfolk, which is nearing having a thousand standing vacant. There were 966 in 2019, compared to 825 the year before, an increase of just over 17pc.
North Norfolk had 572, compared with 482 the previous year - a rise of almost 19pc, while Breckland had 481, up nearly 15pc on the 419 the previous year.
The situation barely changed in Great Yarmouth, with 586 long term empty houses in 2019, one up on the 585 the year before.
Nationally, the number of long-term vacant properties rose 4.5pc to 225,845.
The figures were compiled by Essex-based company Project Etopia, which makes modular homes and school buildings.
Chief executive Joseph Daniels, said: “The long-term trend is one that puzzles ordinary people who are facing huge financial pressures. Many of them can’t get on the housing ladder at all and this problem only exacerbates the wider housing crisis.”