We need to end the scandal of empty homes in this country. We're calling on council candidates in London's local elections this May to make a public pledge to double council tax on empty homes - and work to end the scandal of properties being left vacant.

Why take action on empty homes?

There are 60,000 homes that have been left empty for more than two years across the UK. Many are owned offshore by very wealthy people.

Higher-value houses, houses in prime area of London, and houses owned by overseas investors are more likely than other houses to be left empty, according to research by the Centre for Housing Policy.

With so many people sleeping rough on our streets, and the housing crisis leaving homes unaffordable for ordinary people, it’s wrong that homes should be left empty.

How can councillors help solve the problem of empty homes?

Councillors can help solve this problem. The Government is giving councils the power to double council tax on properties left empty for more than two years.

This will help deter owners leaving their properties empty, and will raise money that councils could spend on affordable homes.

But Councils have to actually commit to using these new powers. That's why we're asking councillor candidates to make a public pledge that, if elected, they will vote to double council tax on empty homes in their borough.

How can I help?

If you live in London and care about empty homes, please help us by contacting your councillor candidates and urging them to take the pledge.

Data sources

Empty homes statistics are from the Council Taxbase tables for 2016/2017. Candidate data supplied by the amazing volunteers of Democracy Club. Ward and borough boundaries from MapIt by mySociety.

Who are you?

We're a couple of Londoners who are running this campaign in our spare time; we've not received any funding to do this. You can follow us on Twitter here: @darkgreener @guyshrubsole

Get in touch

Mail us: [email protected] (if you're a candidate who'd like to take the pledge, please see our page for candidates).