Huge number of empty homes near Grenfell 'simply unacceptable'

By Ali Gourley, Aug 02, 2017 1:08

Grenfell Tower in flames.

 

Wera spoke about the fiasco in The Guardian.

The Liberal Democrats are demanding increased surcharges on long-term empty homes, following a report in the Guardian about the owners of vacant properties in Kensington and Chelsea, among them oligarchs, foreign royalty and wealthy businesspeople.

Wera Hobhouse, the Liberal Democrats’ local government spokeswoman, said: “We could be hiking up council tax far more – at the moment some such people are paying a 50% premium but if they’re so wealthy they don’t care.

“We could put council tax up on such property to 200% or more to ramp up the pressure on such owners to put their portfolios on the market. The proceeds of increased council tax could then be invested in more affordable housing and safety measures.”

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