HUNDREDS of properties are sitting empty on the Isle of Wight — and nearly 3,000 more are listed as second homes.

The figures come as more households continue to be faced with homelessness.

Figures from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities show there were at least 767 empty properties on the Isle of Wight at the most recent count in October — which was up 11 per cent from 689 last year.

Of those, 436 had been gathering dust for six months or more, and at least 112 had been abandoned for more than two years.

The figures, which cover properties subject to council tax, also show 2,946 dwellings in the area were listed as second homes last month.

Different DLUHC figures show in 2020-21, 700 households on the Isle of Wight were entitled to council support after becoming homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Other data shows 82 Island households were at risk of homelessness after they were served with a valid section 21 notice between April 2019 and June 2021. This notice allows landlords to evict a tenant at short notice and without a reason.

The Local Government Association has called on the government to give local authorities greater powers to acquire empty homes.

A spokesman for the LGA, which represents councils, said: “At a time when we face a chronic housing shortage across the country and high levels of homelessness, it is wrong for so many homes to be left empty."

Polly Neate, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, said the country's housing emergency is ruining lives, adding that it was deeply frustrating to see properties sitting empty "when so many people are in desperate need of a safe and secure home".

She said more should be done to put empty homes back into use but added: "Even if we filled every one of these empty properties, we still wouldn't have solved the chronic housing shortage we face.

"The only way to solve the housing crisis is to build a new generation of green social housing."

On the Island, a team with the know-how of the legalities, benefits, and rights and responsibilities within the beleaguered rental sector, is Citizens Advice.

As previously reported, people caught up in the current rental crisis can find accurate and independent help and advice available through the local team.

The rental crisis deepened on the Island post-Covid, as rising house prices both landlords sell up, and more investment in staycation or second home properties.

As a result, the supply of rental properties dropped by 82 per cent in two years.