OVER 2,000 properties have been left empty or unused during the past decade across The News area.
The figures, uncovered by a Freedom of Information request by the Liberal Democrat party, detailed statistics from nearly 300 councils.
Portsmouth has 523 properties which have been empty for at least six months while Gosport has 223 unused houses, 12 of which have been empty for at least 10 years.
Chairman of the economic development board at Gosport Council, Councillor Stephen Philpott, said: ‘It is a shame that we have any houses that are empty but each case is individual and there is a personal tale behind each one as to why they are empty.’
Nationally the figures show that 216,000 homes have been empty for six months or more, including 60,000 which have been empty for two years or more, and over 11,000 have stood empty for at least 10 years.
The councils with the highest amount of empty properties in its boroughs were Durham County Council with 6,502, Leeds City Council had 5,724 and Bradford Council had 4,144.
Councillor Philpott said: ‘If there is an endemic problem of houses or flats sitting empty then those local authorities should have help from central government.
‘However there are some parts of the country where there is no demand for housing and so houses sit empty.’