The Liberal Democrats announced today that they would allow district councils in Oxfordshire to increase council tax by up to 500% on empty homes that are left empty long-term.
The latest Government statistics show that there were 1,748 homes left empty long-term in all of Oxfordshire in 2018.
In response, and as part of their plan to alleviate the housing crisis, the Liberal Democrats would legislate to allow Cherwell, Oxford, South Oxfordshire, Vale of White Horse and West Oxfordshire city and district councils to increase council tax by up to 500% where properties are being left vacant long-term. The revenues would then be reinvested to build new homes for the community or to invest in local services.
Commenting on the announcement, Layla Moran, Lib Dem candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon, said:
“People across Oxfordshire are worried about the lack of genuinely affordable homes. They are being priced out of the local area because of the shocking rise of empty homes. We have such a big problem in our area, with so many people moving away when they start a family, for example, because of the very high cost of living.
"Wealthy owners are treating these properties as financial assets rather than a place to live, demonstrating a complete lack of regard for the impact on people in our community.
"The Liberal Democrats will fix the housing market and tackle the issue of empty homes in Oxfordshire. We will ensure that everyone is secure in their home and deliver a brighter future for our country.”