OWNERS of empty homes are being urged to come forward in order to bring them back into use.

According to Oxford City Council tax records, there are approximately 349 empty homes in the city.

There are about 800 once those exempt from council tax are taken into account.

Council intervention has helped bring 35 empty homes back into use so far in 2020/21.

See also: The boutique hotel plans for a building which lay empty for years

Councillor Mike Rowley, cabinet member for affordable housing and housing the homeless, said: “Some experts are warning that the impact of the pandemic could see growing numbers of empty homes and we urgently need a national strategy giving councils the resources and powers needed to tackle this issue.

“We cannot afford empty homes in Oxford given the scarcity and cost of housing in our city.

“It’s vitally important that any empty home is brought back into use as quickly as possible.

“We would encourage property owners to work with us to help achieve this, and we can provide advice, information and support to bring these empty homes back into use.”

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