Three per cent of homes empty

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More than three per cent of dwellings in Erewash are standing empty - according to figures released this week.

The GMB Union say that out of 50,380 properties in the borough, 1,835 are empty.

Regional secretary, Andy Worth, said: “The fact that there are 66,406 empty dwellings in the East Midlands at a time when there is acute pressure on the housing market signals that there are not enough penalties against leaving a property vacant.

“The population in all areas of the region has grown between 2001 and 2011.

“In the same period house prices have increased in nearly all areas and private rents are up.

“There are also many families on the waiting lists for social housing.

Politicians and the public authorities need to look again at the level of tax levied on properties that are empty and the system needs to be tilted in such a way that property owners face penalties if they do not take all reasonable steps to ensure that dwellings are occupied.

“All properties are subject to planning permission and it should be a condition of the permission that the owners take all reasonable steps to ensure that the properties are occupied when there is a proven need in the area for more housing.”

Erewash Borough Council confirmed the figure was right but said that it can vary on a day to day basis.