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Thousands of homes standing empty amid homeless crisis

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New figures show that almost 9,000 homes in Leeds are empty, despite thousands of people facing homelessness.

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Leeds Live reports that there were 8,727 empty homes in Leeds as of October 2018, despite the fact that more than 11,000 families and individuals asked Leeds City Council for assistance in 2017/18 because they faced homelessness.

Leeds Council has made strides in recent years – reducing the number of private empty homes by around 3,500 since 2010, by applying extra taxes to empty properties. However, there’s still work to be done, and the national situation looks bleak.

The latest national statistics showed that the number of empty houses in the UK is at its highest level in six years, having increased by 5.3% between 2017 to 2018.

The number of empty homes is well above 200,000 nationally, while the country is still suffering a homelessness crisis. Data from November 2018 revealed that around 320,000 people in the UK were known to be sleeping on the streets or living in temporary accommodation – an increase of 13,000 from the previous year.

Boris Johnson had a questionable reputation on homelessness as London Mayor – once accused of diverting more than £5 million of government funding intended to help rough sleepers. Let’s hope his record improves in Downing Street.

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