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Progress being made in Cambridge on empty homes crackdown


By Ben Comber


Terraced housing in Cambridge
Terraced housing in Cambridge

BBC research has revealed the number of empty homes in the city is reducing steadily, but there are calls for more action.

The number of empty homes in Cambridge has decreased by 48 per cent between 2010 and 2016 – and there are calls to clamp down further on vacant properties in the city.

BBC research into the number of empty homes in the country has revealed the progress that has been made in Cambridge, where in 2016 there were 190 empty properties, down from 364 in 2010.

In the Autumn budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced plans to allow local authorities to increase the council tax premium on empty homes to further tackle the issue.

However, Helen Williams, director of the Empty Homes charity, says this is unlikely to be enough to deter some wealthy investor buyers.

Cllr Tim Bick, leader of the city’s Lib Dems, said: “Homes in Cambridge are in such short supply that we need everything that is built to be in use by people who want and need to live here.

“Homes are first and foremost somewhere for people to live, not investment assets.”

The number of empty homes in South Cambridgeshire has decreased by seven per cent to 522 in 2016. There were 561 in 2010.



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