University of Sheffield






April 2022 - July 2023

Grant Awarded



Project summary

Research to gather data on the number of empty homes in certain areas of the UK, combined with work in four localities to help us learn how to address problems arising from this.


Empty homes have become an indicator of significant housing wealth inequalities in the UK. In towns and localities where such homes are abundant local housing markets may exclude young and low-income households. Despite these problems, many local authorities, planning agencies and housing organisations struggle to measure the number of empty homes. A preliminary analysis with our partners Action on Empty Homes suggests that 42% of homes in Aldeburgh, 22% in St Ives, 38% of Chathill in Northumbria and a quarter of homes in Ambleside are empty. Such estimates highlight a need for strategic research that might help us to understand the key drivers of these ‘empties’ and to identify methods for mitigating this issue.

Project overview

This project will work with new data on the extent and location of empty homes and to understand the factors associated with their proliferation. Through this work researchers will identify practical proposals to underpin local and national responses which would move toward fairer outcomes in local property markets.