Council tax records have revealed that more than 700 homes are empty in Oxford.

According to Oxford City Council tax records, as of Thursday, 705 homes were empty in the city for more than half a year, with 129 of these being vacant for more than two years.

Of the 705 empty homes in Oxford, 124 have deceased owners, 413 have been vacant for six to 24 months and 39 are empty due to renovation work.

With so many empty homes in the city, and given that Oxford is set to welcome Afghan refugees, it poses the question of whether any of them will be used to house refugees.

The council said it is waiting on the Government to provide details on how the Afghan Resettlement Scheme will be set up.

Many Oxford Mail readers were not happy that there were so many empty homes in the city. On Facebook some readers commented and suggested the empty homes should go to the homeless or refugees.

This is what our readers had to say:

Suzanne Saunter: "This does make me cross. Villages are getting joined together by new build developments because there ‘isn’t enough housing’ meaning infrastructure can’t cope, sewerage over flows, cars back up causing pollution. Tackling the empty home issue is certainly a start to reducing the issue."

James Webb: "It is a joke. Yet we are told there are no available properties in Oxford."

Paul Fagan: "There should be an empty property tax which should be twice as high than normal council tax at the very least."

Andy Hayhoe: "How about homing some veterans then?"

Karis Daniels: "Yes, it does not surprise me I always comment when walking past the many derelict houses. Why are there so many homeless people and so many on the housing list? Disgusting system if you ask me."

Giorgos Koutsogiannis: "Because they ask £1500 for two bedrooms maybe."

Richard Hutt: "I bet its more then that. I know a few in Jericho alone that are empty as the owner lives somewhere else in the city but just happens to own two houses."

Tasha Pikney: "I’m a vet and can’t find an affordable listing in Oxford."

Miriam Vimbainashe Mutizwa: "Great, the refugee problem is sorted then!"

Rita Turner: "It’s probably because people can’t afford to rent or buy as it is far too expensive."

Simon Bell: "The council should have right to house people in them and keep the rent. The landlord should get nothing and have no opportunity to challenge in court."

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