Corbyn calls for second home levy to tackle ‘offensive’ housing issues

Corbyn calls for second home levy to tackle ‘offensive’ housing issues

 

A report by the Hackney Gazette, delving into official government figures, highlighted there are currently more than 67,000 properties in London with no permanent residents.

This was made up of 22,481 long-term empty homes, defined as being empty for more than six months, and 44,641 second homes.

Critics, such as the local charity Action on Empty Homes, point the finger at so-called ‘buy-to-leave’ investors who purchase homes with no intention of letting them out, simply hoping to hold on and enjoy capital gains down the line.

Corbyn, the MP for Islington North, told the Hackney Gazette that it was “offensive” that so many homes had sat empty for months on end, while social housing waiting lists grow and first-time buyers struggle to purchase a property.

He added: “The housing crisis is caused by the few who use houses as investment opportunities. This influx of large sums of money has seen prices sky rocket for ordinary people.

“Houses are homes, not assets. We need to clamp down on buy-to-leave by charging a levy on second homes and strengthening councils’ powers over empty properties, as well as building one million genuinely affordable homes.”

The opposition leadership has previously suggested a levy on second homes used for holiday lettings in a bid to tackle the housing shortage.