THE number of empty homes in Warrington has skyrocketed, while the number of new social housing lets in the town is at a decade-long low.

Action on Empty Homes has said the fact that, nationally, half a million properties are vacant or used as second homes while more than 100,000 families across the country are in temporary accommodation, is a “national disgrace”.

It called on the Government to introduce a new national empty homes programme to create additional housing supply for those most in need.

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities figures show 677 homes in Warrington were long-term empty as of October – an increase from 637 during the same period in 2022.

Below is a map of all the empty homes in Warrington as of October:

The figures cover the number of dwellings that have been empty for more than six months, excluding those due to flooding or properties left by people in prison.

Nationally, more than 261,000 homes were long-term empty. The number rose by 5 per cent and is the highest since 2011, excluding the pandemic-related figures from 2020.

There were also over 263,000 properties registered as second homes, with 449 of them in Warrington.

Rebecca Moore, director of Action on Empty Homes, said: “It beggars belief that while children are growing up sharing beds in temporary accommodation, our nation has over a quarter of a million homes sitting empty.

“To say this is a national disgrace is a profound understatement.

“Long-term empties are a huge missed opportunity to invest in green retrofit and create new jobs.”

Meanwhile, new Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities figures show 876 new social housing lets were offered to tenants in Warrington in 2022-23.

This was down from 1,058 in 2021-22, and the lowest figure of any year over the past decade, with the number of new lets provided having fallen by more than a third during that time.

Matt Downie, chief executive at Crisis, said: “How many more shameful records must we hit for the Westminster Government to take the urgent action needed to tackle the chronic rise in homelessness and a sheer lack of housing?"

He added: "This political negligence cannot continue. If we’re going to address the mounting waiting lists for council housing and the record numbers trapped in hostels and B&Bs, then the Westminster Government must build more social housing. We have the means to fix this but only if we take the decisive action needed."

“With the number of households trapped in temporary accommodation at a record high, having thousands of properties sitting unnecessarily empty for long periods is an open goal for the Westminster government if it wants to bring these numbers down.

“Our research shows that if councils were given the necessary tools and funding, backed by a concerted effort from the government to repurpose properties through a national Empty Homes initiative, we could provide 40,000 additional homes over the next four years to people who are homeless or at risk.”