The Sheffield Liberal Democrats are demanding action as it became apparent that homes have been left empty due to the repairs backlog while 500 people are in temporary accommodation - and thousands wait for a council house.
Sheffield Council's Housing Committee heard a report that showed the current rate of empty homes is nearly twice as high as normal. This means that hundreds of Council properties are currently unoccupied due to needing repair work done, whilst thousands of Sheffielders are waiting for a home.
Lib Dem Councillor Sophie Thornton who has been raising the issues of the repairs backlog at the Council said; “It's a disgrace. There are people who have been waiting for a council home for years, stuck in temporary accommodation or even sleeping on the streets, while homes that could be used to house them sit empty because of a repair backlog. It's an outrage, and it needs to be fixed.
"The repairs backlog is costing taxpayers millions of pounds every year, and it's only getting worse. The council needs to give this issue the respect it deserves so that we can provide warm and safe housing for all."
Documents also show that the Council will lose £3.7 million in rent over the next year due to empty council homes.
Fellow Lib Dem Councillor Penny Baker, who is the new vice-chair of the Housing Committee added;"We're worried that the city council's housing repairs are causing more vacancies and costing more money. If the properties were being inhabited, the council could have brought in an extra £2 million in rent.
"On top of that, their own documents show they're expecting to lose an extra £1 million this year due to legal fees for disrepair claims. This is money that could be better spent supporting Sheffield's homeless, not flushed down the drain."