MORE than 1,500 properties are sitting empty in Tendring each year, while households in the area continue to be faced with homelessness, figures show.

Campaigners say abandoned dwellings should be repurposed to tackle England's housing crisis, after councils across the country recorded hundreds of thousands of empty homes.

Figures from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities show there were at least 1,675 empty properties in Tendring  in October – down by 11 per cent from last year.

Of those, 855 had been gathering dust for six months or more.

The figures, which cover properties subject to council tax, also show almost 1,500 dwellings in the area were listed as second homes last month.

A spokesman for the Local Government Association said: “At a time when we face a chronic housing shortage across the country and high levels of homelessness, it is wrong for so many homes to be left empty."

Owners of properties which have laid empty for two years or more can be charged an extra 100 per cent council tax on top of their bill – rising to as much as 300 per cent if the home has been empty for a decade or longer.

Between 2020 and 2021, councils across the country identified more than 268,000 households as homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Across England, the number of empty homes – dwellings that are unoccupied and unfurnished – is around 468,000.