Layla Moran has called for Oxford City Council to “step up” after an investigation revealed that almost 47,000 homes have been left vacant nationwide, including 27 in Oxford.
The Liberal Democrat investigation revealed that the homes had been left vacant for over five years.
The figures collated from over 300 local authorities across the country reveal there are 12,889 homes that have been empty for ten years or more, according to the Liberal Democrats.
Freedom of Information requests also uncovered that a further 313,792 houses had been empty for 6 months.
Results of this investigation come after the new government revealed that 127,000 children faced being homeless at New Year.
The investigation revealed that Oxford City Council has six homes empty for ten years or more and 27 empty for five years or more. 545 are currently considered to be “long-term” empty, defined as over six months.
As part of the Liberal Democrat commitment to alleviate the housing crisis, they are calling for legislation to allow authorities to increase council tax by up to 500% where properties are being left empty long-term.
Revenues from this tax would be used to build new homes for the community or to invest in local services.
Layla Moran, MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, said: “Communities up and down the country, including our own, are being torn apart because affluent owners are treating these properties as financial assets.
“Instead, these homes could be turned into affordable places to live for some of the most vulnerable people in our society. We are in the midst of a housing crisis here in Oxfordshire, and the city council needs to step up to play its part in fixing it.
“People deserve better. That’s why Liberal Democrats are demanding councils are given the powers and resources we set out in our manifesto to bring empty homes back into use.”