Thousands of homes sit empty across Wolverhampton
Thousands of homes are currently empty in Wolverhampton, including one that has been vacant for 25 years.
Latest figures, released through a freedom of information request, show 2,644 homes currently sit empty in the city.
Of these, 489 have been vacant for two years or more, including one home in Willenhall which has been vacant for 25 years and another Penn that has been empty for 19 years.
Wolverhampton Council has been criticised for failing to tackle the issue of empty homes as dozens of people across the city are homeless.
According to the housing figures there were 1,653 residential properties recorded as empty for less than a year, 502 that were recorded as empty for a period between one and two years and 489 that were recorded as empty for more than 2 years.
As well as the two homes in WV1 and WV4 that have been empty for 15 and 19 years respectively, one home in All Saints has been empty for more than 12 years and one in Low Hill has been empty for more than 10.
Wolverhampton Liberal Democrat chair Julian Donald said: "It breaks my heart to hear about thousands of empty homes in our area.
"The idea that one has been empty for 25 years is a tragedy and the council need to get their act together.
"Some empty homes are needed for a functioning housing market but Wolverhampton has far too many empty homes.
"When there are so many young families in need of their first home and so many homeless people on the streets of Wolverhampton who need a roof over their heads, the Labour council need to do much more to bring these homes back into use."
Wolverhampton Council said it is aware of both the long-standing empty homes in WV1 and WV4. It says it has received no complaints about either but is monitoring the situation. The home in Penn has been on and off the market since 2012 while the home in Willenhall has been given planning permission to be converted into two apartments.
A spokesman added: "Through our empty properties Strategy, more than 1,800 privately-owned houses, which had been left unoccupied – often in poor condition – have been brought back into use since 2010. This is achieved by offering advice and assistance, through to compulsory purchase orders.
“The figures in the private housing sector are improving. What must also be taken into consideration is that properties remaining empty for less than six months – a relatively short period – is part of the normal functioning of the housing market in relation to sales and purchases.
“The council also offers grants of up to £500 to encourage more owners of empty properties to act.”