Why are we calling the 9 October Day of Action ...

...to bring together all the organisations that took part in our first succesful Day of Action in April 2021 and draw more local and national organisations into a national coalition called ‘Campaign Against Empty Homes’.  Whether it is a local community group or a national organization, we want everyone on board for 9 October, who wants empty homes to be brought back into use.

We are calling the 9 October Day of Action for four reasons:

1) Over 100,000 families are living in Temporary Accommodation while over half a million homes have no permanent resident.

2) The wrong kind of housing is being built across the country  - they are unaffordable to anyone on an average income to either rent or buy. These new builds are also being sold off-plan and ending up as Airbnb short lets, second homes or buy to leave empty wealth investments with no permanent residents.

3) Communities are being broken up as council estates that could be refurbished are being left to decline, to be replaced by yet more unaffordable new build.

4) The Climate emergency demands refurbishment, not demolition. Retrofitting 270,000 long term empty homes and council estates can help solve the climate crisis.

We will hold street actions highlighting all of these issues and hold a national rally calling for empty homes to be used by those living in temporary and overcrowded accommodation and to meet the climate emergency.

The Day of Action is also to raise public awareness of the rising number of long-term empty homes and homes without a permanent resident in England. Government and market data show there are around:

  • 270,000 long-term empty homes
  • 260,000 second-homes with no permanent resident
  • 120,000 Airbnb type short-lets (London Councils estimate there are over 70,000 short-lets in London alone)

We also want a national register of landlords and beneficial owners and much tighter regulation of Airbnb.

How you can get involved

1. Campaign Resources:

Posters: Links to the campaign poster will appear here in A1,2,3 and 4 sizes.

Letters: to local organisations, your MP and local councillors to suport the day will appear here in early September 

2. Organise your own local photoshoot or selfie for the Day of Action. Send your photos to [email protected]

CLICK HERE to download a Guide to organising your own Photoshoot

3. Order some of our Day of Action posters for your photoshoot - make a £10 donation to Action on Empty Homes to help us cover our costs - they will be available on September 20 2021.To order: Email [email protected]

The posters will carry the following messages and hashtags: 

'We are in a housing, climate and health emergency!'  'Take Action on Empty Homes'  'Why is this home empty?' 

#PrettyVacant    #EmptyHomes    #Fillemup   #HomesNeedResidents   #Climate Emergency #TheWrongHousing

3. Put out a local press release - If you would like a press release template to add your local details to please email us at 

[email protected]

  - you can add the numbers for your local area:

    To find how many empty homes there are in your council area go click here:

    To find our about whole-home Airbnbs in your council area visit here: https://www.airdna.co/

4. Use your social media to advertise the Day of Action.

We will post resources on our webpages to help you make the best impact on the day.

https://www.actiononemptyhomes.org/ and http://www.axethehousingact.org.uk/

For more information call:

Will at Action on Empty Homes on 07968 950223 or Tanya at Homes for All on: 07792 786192

What happened on the April 2021 Day of Action?


The Empty Homes Day of Action on Saturday 17 April was supported by a  coalition of organisations.

From Acorn Leeds and the Big Issue, to Streets Kitchen and Unite the Union (London and Eastern Region), the coalition also includes:

Defend Council Housing, Disable People Against Cuts, Greater Manchester Housing Action, Harlow Trades Council, People Before Profit, Social Housing Action Campaign, Southwark Group of Tenants Organisations and Street Storage. All these organisations and many other local groups are joining with Action on Empty Homes and Homes4All in supporting the day of action.

  • Campaigners staged photoshoots using campaign banners and placards outside new developments that do not contain any social housing, decanted council homes, housing association empty homes and older large residential properties that are long term empty.
  • We livestreamed an online rally with national speakers and updates from local events on multiple platforms from 11am to 12pm

Speakers were:

John Bird, Big Issue founder

Steve Turner Unite, the Union

Tanya Murat, Homes For All

Will McMahon, Action on Empty Homes

Ellen Clifford, Author and Disabled People Against Cuts

Jon Glackin, Streets Kitchen

Tyrone Scott, Shelter

You can view the speakers and a recording of the national livestream from the event at 

Here are some links to coverage of the Day of Action:

Manchester: https://themeteor.org/2021/04/17/empty-homes-increase-by-19-across-manchester-in-a-year/

Newham: https://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/housing/canning-town-housing-protest-7896994

Also in the Newham Recorder 'Council houses now': https://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/housing/people-before-profit-canning-town-protest-7907198

Southwark - where long-term empties are up 61% and so-called 'second homes' (or 'furnished empties as the council terms them) are up 600%: https://www.southwarknews.co.uk/news/walworth-protesters-demand-action-on-empty-southwark-homes/

London News Online - '20,000 empty homes in South London': https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/over-20000-homes-stand-empty-across-south-london-while-homeless-families-struggle/

Editorial comment in Southwark News – ‘Government needs to step in on empty homes’: https://www.southwarknews.co.uk/comment/government-needs-to-step-in-on-empty-homes/

Suffolk: https://www.sudburymercury.co.uk/news/housing/rise-in-number-of-long-term-empty-homes-7903796

Islington protest gets support from local MP Jeremy Corbyn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cm2HoDHi6AI&t=8s

Campaign Posters for April 2021 Day of Action

Poster 1: CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE A4              For home print version click here

Poster 2: CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE A4              For home print version click here

Poster 3: CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE A4              For home print version click here

[i] Government and market data show there are around:

Table 615: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-dwelling-stock-including-vacants

In addition MHCLG data records a further 263,000 homes with no residents classified as ‘second homes’. This gives a current total of homes without residents of over 928,000.

Letter 1: to send to organisations in your area inviting them to support the campaign CLICK HERE

Letter 2: to send to your local councillors inviting them to support the campaign CLICK HERE

Letter 3: to send to your local MP inviting them to support the campaign CLICK HERE

Letter 4: to send to candidates in local elections on May 6th CLICK HERE FOR LETTER - if an election is taking place in your area, the letter invites candidates to support the campaign