Image: Coventry Telegraph

The number of empty homes in Coventry has risen sharply to more than 3,000 in just 18 months, partially as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In figures uncovered by a Freedom of Information request sent to the council by the Local Democracy Reporting Service found that, as of February, there were 3,212 homes in Coventry empty for six months or more.

That compares to previous figures of 1,451 in October 2019 and 1,336 the year before.

2,888 homes have been empty for more than six months to five years.

The council stated that the Covid-19 has had an impact on the numbers, as well as a reduced student population, with many university students remaining at their home addresses.

Cllr David Welsh, cabinet member for housing and communities in Coventry, said: 

“The Covid pandemic has had an impact on the number of empty properties in Coventry resulting in an increase here and in cities elsewhere across the country.

“Student properties have remained empty because they have been advised to remain at their home address and that’s why large student accommodation providers are experiencing lower than average occupation rates with many units having been unoccupied since July last year.

“We are working hard to bring unused and empty properties into use as it’s such a key priority for the council – and a home where families can move into is absolutely vital.”