Council committed to reducing empty homes
Published Wednesday 29th August 2012
The Council is continuing its efforts to bring privately-owned empty properties back into use throughout Nuneaton and Bedworth.
Not only has a draft Empty Homes Strategy been produced but the appointment of an Empty Property Officer has also been confirmed who will be dedicated to working with owners of empty properties to bring them back into occupation.
The Council has also successfully bid for funding from Warwickshire County Council to set up a low cost loan scheme to help owners get their properties back into occupation, either by themselves or by renting them out to people with a housing need.
By bringing empty homes back into use across the Borough, the Council will be assisting to provide a valuable resource to those in need of housing whilst improving the quality of life for communities who can often be blighted by anti-social behaviour as a result of homes being left vacant.
The draft Empty Homes Strategy was recently issued by the Council for consultation and comment and feedback is currently being invited from members of the public, councillors and partners.
The Council recognises the problems associated with empty homes and is working hard to encourage owners to bring them back into public use. Properties can be empty for a number of reasons. Around 20% of privately-owned homes currently empty in the Borough are because of people having to go into hospital or moving to live in care homes. Properties undergoing major works can also play a role.
In the last couple of years, public funding has been drastically reduced leaving little in the pot to deal with non-statutory functions of the Council. Despite this, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council has recently agreed the appointment of an Empty Property Officer which highlights our commitment to addressing the issue of empty homes.
We have launched a consultation on our Empty Homes Strategy and I would encourage as many people as possible to share their views and ideas with us so that we can ensure this strategy delivers for our Borough.Councillor Julie Jackson, Cabinet Member for Housing.
A Private Sector Leasing Scheme is also managed by the Council which involves the authority allocating and managing properties of behalf of non-commercial landlords, i.e. those who may have inherited a property, are reluctant to sell or who are inexperienced in letting out their homes.
In July, the National Empty Homes Fund was announced and will be launched later this year. This will be administered by the charity, Empty Homes, and the Council has already registered an interest to maximise the funding available to owners of empty properties in the Borough.
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