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New housing coalition to hold national day of action

A NEW housing coalition will hold a day of action on empty homes tomorrow to tackle the housing, climate and health emergencies.

The Campaign Against Empty Homes aims to raise public awareness on housing, including how retrofitting the 270,000 long-term empty homes and council estates can help solve the climate crisis.

It highlights a need for refurbishment rather than the demolition of homes.

More than 100,000 families are living in temporary accommodation while over half a million homes have no permanent residents, according to government data.

And new housing being built across the country is unaffordable to anyone on an average income to rent or buy, campaigners warn.

Many new builds are also sold off-plan and become Airbnb short lets, second homes or buy to leave empty wealth investments with no permanent residents, the coalition said.

It added that communities are being broken up as council estates that could be refurbished are left to decline, to be replaced by yet more unaffordable new builds.

The coalition’s day of action will include a national online with speakers including the Big Issue founder John Bird, Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer, the Peace and Justice Project’s Jeremy Corbyn and Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner.

It will also stage photo shoots outside new developments without social housing spaces and decanted council homes.

Morag Gillie from Homes for All, one of the coalition groups, said: “It is an utter disgrace so many homes lie empty when they could be retrofitted and filled by people in temporary accommodation.

“The government has helped peddle the lie the lack of housing, jobs and health are caused by refugees, when years of public-sector cuts in health and income are the cause.

“Tens of thousands of empty homes could be filled quickly if the commitment was there.”

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