An empty home may be a flat, dwelling, house or house in multiple occupation which is privately owned and is unoccupied.

A long-term empty home may be a flat, dwelling house or house in multiple occupations that is privately owned and unoccupied for six months or more.

Not all empty properties brought to our attention fall within the categories described above, such as commercial properties. 

However, we may make further enquiries to assist in resolving issues of concern or to provide advice on better using such a property. 

North Norfolk District Council has a severe housing shortage due to a growing population and limited opportunity to develop land for additional housing. For this reason, the Council is committed to encouraging owners to bring unoccupied properties back into use.

Why empty homes matter

There are too many homes lying empty

Latest offical Government data on long-term empty homes shows that over 238,000 homes in England have been empty for over six months. In all, over 600,000 homes are currently vacant.

Add in over 67,000 holiday lets and 253,000 second homes, and the total number of vacant homes is around a million, meaning that across England, 1 in every 25 homes is without residents.

Leaving homes empty is a waste

We cannot afford to waste such properties. In England, 100,000 families are often trapped in poor-quality, insecure temporary accommodation that does not meet the standards required of the permanent, secure social housing these families are entitled to.

Bringing empty homes into use helps neighbourhoods

There are neighbourhoods with clusters of empty homes. Dealing with empty homes in these areas should be part of broader neighbourhood initiatives that start from the perspective of the issues people face who reside in these neighbourhoods. 

Communities can rebuild, but while councils can help and support this, the Government should also empower them and must urgently invest in them. 

It makes environmental sense

Creating homes from empty properties saves substantial material compared to building new homes. It minimises the amount of land used for development and avoids wasting embedded carbon, helping to combat climate change.