More than 1,000 homes standing empty in Hartlepool

Over 1,000 properties are standing empty in Hartlepool each year, despite a national housing crisis, new figures show.

Figures from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities show there were at least 1,330 empty properties in the area at the most recent count in October – down 17% from 1,609 last year.

Of those, 919 had been gathering dust for over six months and at least 329 had been abandoned for more than two years.

The Local Government Association has called on the Government to give councils greater powers to acquire empty homes.

Empty homes action call

A spokesman for the LGA, which represents councils, said: “At a time when we face a chronic housing shortage across the country and high levels of homelessness, it is wrong for so many homes to be left empty."

Across England, the number of empty home fell by two per cent to 468,000.

Polly Neate, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, said more should be done to put empty homes back into use but added: "Even if we filled every one of these empty properties, we still wouldn't have solved the chronic housing shortage we face.

"The only way to solve the housing crisis is to build a new generation of green social housing."

A Government spokesman said more than 243,000 new homes were delivered last year, with £12bn being invested in affordable housing over five years.

He said the number of empty homes had fallen by 30,000 since 2010, adding: “We have taken significant action to prevent empty homes.”