Shocking figures have revealed that Oxford City Council has failed to take up funding from Central Government to help bring empty homes back into use.
The research also shows that Oxford City Council has not made use of the Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMO), powers used by local authorities to take over properties that have been empty for at least six months.
Liberal Democrat campaigners pressed for the info - that shows over seven of homes in Oxford have stood empty for ten years or more, 70 for over two years, and a total of 155 vacant homes across the city currently.
Liberal Democrat candidate for Carfax and homelessness campaigner Conor McKenzie said:
“At a time when homelessness is on the rise it is a scandal that our City Council is failing to take support it is entitled to in order to bring homes back into use.
“With hostels closing and the shelter Julian Housing set to be decommissioned in April of this year, far more needs to be done. The City Council should make use of Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMO), powers used to take over properties that have been empty for at least two years.
“Labour have completely failed on homelessness. Last year the City Council failed to spend £400,000 of their homeless support budget, and their treatment of people in the unfortunate position of sleeping rough has been absolutely appalling.”
The local Liberal Democrats have set up a petition calling on councils in Oxfordshire to use their powers to help end homelessness: http://www.oxonlibdems.uk/empty-homes