Shelter Cymru and empty homes

We believe empty properties represent waste, financial expense and missed opportunity for providing much needed affordable housing for people in Wales. They can blight communities, attract fly tipping, vandals and squatters and tie up the resources of the council and the emergency services.

Living next to an empty property can devalue a home by 18%. Unsightly properties deter investment in an area and can lead to decline. The absence of adequate housing whether in terms of quantity, quality or size has also significant adverse impacts upon people’s health.

Studies have shown that the average cost of returning empty homes to a habitable state is between £6,000 and £12,000 per property. Around 2,000 empty homes could be brought back into use for £20m.

Shelter Cymru has been supporting local authorities and their partners to make more effective use of privately owned empty homes to meet housing need, by providing free advice, consultancy and good practice exchanges to accelerate current work in this area. We have produced a Good Practice Guide in partnership with the Welsh Government, which is available from their website.

For more information on Empty Homes in Wales, please read the briefing we produced with the Chartered Institute of Housing in Wales on making the most of empty stock.