Over 350 homes in Derbyshire have been sitting empty for ten years or more, research by the Lib Dems has revealed.

The figures, uncovered through Freedom of Information requests, show that there are over 5036 homes across Derbyshire that have been empty for six months or more. Of these, 1726 had been empty for two years or more, 799 for five years or more, and over 356 have stood empty for at least ten years.

Amber Valley Borough Council, Chesterfield Borough Council, Bolsover District Council, North East Derbyshire District Council, South Derbyshire District Council, Erewash Borough Council, Derby City council and Derbyshire Dales District Council  has failed to make use of Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMO), powers used by local authorities to take over properties that have been empty for at least six months. This is despite the fact that some local families have spent Christmas without a home. Figures for High Peak were not obtained.

Nationally only 19 of the 247 councils in England and Wales that responded (the powers do not apply in Scotland) had used an EDMO in the past five years. Of these only six had used one in the past year.

North East Derbyshire District Councillor, David Hancock said:

“At a time when the homelessness crisis is worsening and more and more people are sleeping out in the cold on our streets, it is a scandal that so many homes locally are sitting empty.

“These homes could be turned into affordable places to live for those that need it across our county.

“The Government needs to urgently review the current system which is clearly not working and Derbyshire Local Authorities needs to be given the powers and resources to bring empty homes back
into use.

“It is shameful that all local authorities in Derbyshire has failed to use existing powers to end this scandal. Local families have spent Christmas homeless because of Labour and Tory inaction and ineptitude.”

“We must do more and the Liberal Democrats would invest now to increase the number of empty homes brought back into use and help save money in the long run.”

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You can find the full figures here

You can join the Liberal Democrats and our fight reduce homelessness by visiting www.libdems,org.uk/join

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