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Empty homes could ease housing crisis
Herefordshire's estimated need for 4,100 new homes by 2012 could be cut by utilising empty properties.
A report issued last week by the Halifax shows there are 537 privately-owned houses in the county empty for six months or more.
On top of that there are holiday homes, empty flats above shops, and properties waiting for conversion.
The Empty Homes Agency (EHA) aims to highlight the waste of property while devising ways of bringing them into use.
Henry Oliver is their policy advisor and believes local authorities are ignoring tough new powers to ease the problem.
But Herefordshire Council spokesman John Burnett insists bringing empty houses back into use will not greatly reduce housebuilding figures.
He said it does contribute towards overall figures but this is a very small proportion of the homes required.
*For full story see this week's Hereford Times.