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March 26, 2021
What’s The Empty Housing Crisis in England?

Across the United Kingdom, nearly one million homes sit empty while hundreds of thousands face homelessness or struggle to find affordable housing. So is there an empty housing crisis?

This stark mismatch between vacant dwellings and people in need reflects a broken housing system. Though complex factors drive the swelling ranks of empty houses, they represent wasted potential to alleviate the national housing shortage

Despite the current housing crisis there are staggering amounts of currently recorded empty houses across England.

  • On the 5th of October 2020 it was recorded that there was a grand total of 743,059 empty houses across England.
  • Out of these unoccupied homes, 410, 905 of them have been empty for a period of under 2 years.
  • Impressively, 262,953 of these unoccupied houses are second homes which are mostly used as ‘holiday homes’.
  • There are 49,037 properties which have been recorded as being empty for a period of 2 to 5 years.
  • Lastly, 20,953 of England’s unoccupied homes have been empty for over five years.
  • Despite the high number of empty houses found across England, the housing crisis remains a prominent issue which requires further addressing.


The current situation demands new solutions to bring unused homes back into occupation and enable more people to access stable, reasonably-priced housing.

This blog post dives into the key statistics, causes, and consequences of the UK’s swelling empty housing numbers. It explores innovative policies and charity programs seeking to turn vacant houses into lived-in homes.

Unlocking empty properties will require addressing root obstacles around ownership, condition, access, affordability and more.

With compassion and creativity, we can tackle this glaring inefficiency in how the UK’s housing stock serves society. Speak to Crisis to find out more.

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