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Housing is the number one issue that constituents come to me about. There are currently around 4,000 empty homes in Newcastle. 99% of these are privately owned. Yet there are 4,000 people on the housing waiting list.

Privately renting tenants regularly tell me just how insecure they feel knowing they could be made to move out when their lease ends. Many have no significant period of security, even when they have lived in a house for years.

That is why I have launched a campaign to make more homes available for local people by bringing more empty properties back into use and encouraging the building of more affordable homes.

There are a number of ways we can do this. For instance, the Government is making is harder for councils to use their powers to bring empty homes back into use. Ministers have increased the time period before councils can issue an order to bring an empty home back into use from six months to two years. I will be urging them to reconsider this.

I’m proud to be the MP for a city with two great Universities, the number one city of choice for students. And I think it is part of my job to make sure they are not exploited by landlords. Certainly, the presence of 50,000 students in Jesmond, Fenham and Heaton has a big impact on the local housing market.

I will be looking at better ways to make use of the existing housing stock, and helping local people to set up self-help housing groups. I will also continue to encourage the building of new affordable homes across Newcastle and pressuring the new Housing Minister to do more.

We would love to hear your views on what we can do to get there. You can contact me and my team on the number at the top of the page, or by email at You can also reach us on Twitter at @ToonHomes, or write to me at House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.


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Dear Newcastle

I always enjoy returning to Newcastle after Parliament breaks up for recess but this year it is a relief as well as a pleasure! Westminster is reeling from two months of unprecedented turmoil – and the country is also suffering from uncertainty on so many fronts.

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Chi's Commons Debate on Housing in Newcastle


Thank you, Mr Chairman.

I’m pleased to have secured this short debate today on a subject which is critically important to my constituents – Housing.

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Home Improvement for Landlords

It benefits nobody to have empty homes. They can cost their owners up to £7,000 a year[1] and lead to problems like dereliction, crime, pests, and rubbish dumping. This is not what the vast majority of landlords want. Half of owners of empty properties say they would...Read More »

Self-Build: Creating New Affordable Homes

One of the biggest concerns of my constituents is housing. Although Newcastle Council has made good progress reducing the figure, there are still thousands on the housing waiting list.

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Building for the Future

Housing is the number one issue in my surgeries and mailbag.

We all know Newcastle is a great city, but it does not have enough homes to meet the needs of the people who live here. With thousands on the housing waiting list, we need to make sure we are building...Read More »

Chi launches campaign for more access to affordable housing

• 9,000 waiting for more homes, whilst 4,000 private properties sit empty
• MP calls for Government to take action to free up empty homes, regulate the lettings market and better inform students of their rights and options

As Newcastle welcomes back 52,000 students, the annual scramble to get last minute...Read More »

Chi highlights empty homes in Newcastle

Chi Onwurah MP for Newcastle Central believes that the growing housing problem in Newcastle is partly caused by too many empty homes.
Ms Onwurah told the Minister:

“ Your Homes Newcastle tells me that of the 4,000 properties standing empty across  the city, 99% are in the private sector.

“  Private...Read More »

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