Action on Empty Homes[i] Briefing ‘Where are Haringey’s Second Homes?’[ii] raises the issue of Haringey's unique status as the only Borough in England to claim it has no second homes. We ask why Haringey are the only council in the country not reporting this important data to Government, as requested by the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government.

The Briefing says there are three reasons why the absence of this data is important:

  • So-called ‘Second Homes’ aren’t homes at all and are by definition not used as homes, this limits housing supply, and can inflate rents and house prices. There are 46,000 second homes across London and 253,000 in England.
  • Many so-called ‘second homes’ are never lived in by their owners. Some may be hoarded unused as ‘buy to leave’ investments. Others are let short-term, on platforms like Airbnb. London has the biggest short-term lettings market in Europe, with councils estimating 1 in 50 London homes is used in this way[iii])
  • In Haringey around 650 whole home Airbnb lets are not available as permanent homes for the local community, as well as another 1,000 long-term empty homes. That means at least 1 home in every 60 in Haringey is unavailable to be lived in and this proportion may be higher in newbuild investor-friendly developments.

2) When Councils grant developers planning permission to build homes it is assumed these new homes will be available to be lived in. But if the properties are bought as investment opportunities, many are never lived in by anyone at all. How are these genuine contributions to housing supply?

  • These so-called homes won’t help with Haringey’s housing crisis. But action is desperately needed when accommodating the homeless cost the council an astonishing £180 million in the last five years

3) Government guidelines explicitly require local councils to provide complete data on housing utilisation – recording empty homes, second homes, and levels of council tax charged - Haringey is the only Borough in England not to do so.[iv]

References and Briefing download:

[i] Action on Empty Homes is a national campaigning charity previously known as The Empty Homes Agency and provides the only independent analysis of official data on empty homes. 

[ii] ‘Where are Haringey’s Second Homes. Why is the Council not counting them?’ can be downloaded here

[iii] London Councils Press Release January 2020:

[iv] MHCLG Council Taxbase 2019 See Local Authority Level Data Spreadsheet Column DD Total Second Homes – Haringey:

Action on Empty Homes ‘PrettyVacant’ (April 2020): and

Hackney Gazette news story on second homes, quoting AEH, with political reaction: