The Coalition for Community Investment in areas with high levels of empty homes was launched in July 2018. It brings together the social, public and private housing sectors alongside campaigning organisations such as Shelter, Crisis and Action on Empty Homes.

The Coalition wholeheartedly supports calls for more social and affordable housing to be built but this is not happening fast enough. And all the time England’s empties keep piling up, while housing benefit and temporary accommodation bills escalate. Empty homes don’t just sit on streets across England, they blight communities, contribute to neighbourhood decline and, where concentrated, turn once-desirable areas into housing of last resort.

Those with housing choices leave, those with none find themselves trapped in substandard accommodation. As a result, increasing numbers of long-term empty homes fall into dereliction, raising renovation costs and making it more difficult to bring them back into use. Research by Action on Empty Homes revealed neighbourhoods with the highest levels of empty homes are places where house prices are lower and residents are on low incomes. There are also abnormally high levels of substandard private rented housing that does not meet the Decent Homes standard. We identify these housing markets as 'under-invested'.

Large amounts of this low-quality housing that blights the lower end of the private rented sector is at risk of becoming the next generation of long-term empty homes. This is because of the low investment model some landlords in these housing markets operate. This housing is often made available to those in urgent housing need and on benefits - an example of spending good money on poor housing. Instead, investment in prevention is needed. Increasing supply across all tenures is crucial to ending the housing crisis - but so is making the best use of existing empty homes. These can in many cases be brought into use relatively quickly, with planning delays rare or nonexistent.

Yet, since 2015, there has been no dedicated government funding for areas with high levels of empty homes. This campaign demonstrates what the problem is, how it affects England’s communities, what parliamentarians think, and how Government can act to make this waste of housing become part of the solution to our current housing crisis.

Read the latest report which includes evidence gathered from communities in areas of residualised housing who are taking action to turn things around and polling of Members of Parliament on their responses to the housing crisis and Government policy on empty homes. You can read it here