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February 13, 2021 1:36 PM
Originally published by Shropshire Liberal Democrats - Fighting for Shropshire

Ruth Houghton, Shropshire Councillor for Bishop's Castle Division has submitted a question to the next Shropshire Council meeting on 24th February urging it to take action to bring any empty houses in the County back to the market either for sale or rent.

Ruth explained: "We have a major problem with the lack of affordable homes for local people in Shropshire, both in urban areas and in rural communities such as South Shropshire. Building more affordable properties for sale or rent is certainly needed but we also have a great many properties lying empty which could provide people in our local communities with a home".

"Councils have the power to levy 200% Council tax on empty properties and in some instances also have the power to make a compulsory purchase of some properties. Used appropriately this could be a powerful incentive to many owners to bring an empty property back into use"

"There were 648,114 empty properties in England before the pandemic which suggests there are many thousands in Shropshire. Assertive action by Shropshire Council on this issue would go a long way to help many in Shropshire struggling to find a home."