Record rise in empty homes

The Empty Homes Agency (EHA) has reacted with dismay to the latest government figures showing the largest annual jump in empty homes in 17 years. There were just under 700,000 such properties in England last year and the EHA believe this will rise to more than one million this year. The EHA has called on the government and Homes and Communities Agency to redirect investment intended to build new homes, towards the purchase and repair of empty and run-down private homes. It also wants them to provide small grants to enable housing associations and co-operatives to operate short life housing schemes.