Empty homes in the spotlight
We are asking people who own second home’s and landlords to bring an estimated 2,144 long-term empty homes in our area back into use.
The action comes as National Empty Homes Week takes place, October 15 to 21, which aims to highlight the problems that long-term empty homes can cause, whilst promoting the help on offer to bring them back into use.
Why is it a problem?
Homes left empty over time can deteriorate quickly causing problems for neighbour’s properties. They can attract vandalism, fly-tipping and other criminal activity. Neglected properties can also blight streets and neighbourhoods resulting in lower property values and discouraging investment in the area.
What support do we offer?
Owners of empty properties can already benefit from a package of free advice and support offered by our Housing Solutions Service to make dealing with a second property easier.
Want to save money whilst supporting local businesses?
This package has now been extended, for a limited time only, to include discounts offered by local businesses to encourage homeowners to renovate their homes and either live in, re-let or sell them. Discounts include money off the cost of windows, skip hire, tiles and fitted furniture. Offer periods vary depending on supplier.
Cllr Cathy Scott, Cabinet member for Housing and Democracy said:
“Not only can empty properties have a negative effect on local neighbourhoods, but long-term they are a wasted resource that could be used by families in desperate need of a home.
Leaving a property empty can end up costing the owner through expensive repair and maintenance bills, increased Council Tax and security costs.
However, many empty properties can be brought back into use fairly quickly and easily with the right advice and support and we will work with homeowners on a case by case basis to do this.
Although the council has various statutory powers to deal with poor condition properties it is keen to work with, and encourage, owners of empty properties to take action without having to enforce these powers.”
Want to know more?
Advice and discounts for renovation work can be found on our website.