At their meeting on Wednesday 12th July, Council Cabinet will be asked to start compulsory purchase proceedings for five long-term vacant houses, as part of the Council’s pledge to purchase or renovate 300 empty homes over the next three years to help address the need for more housing in the city.

A report to Cabinet explains how a number of houses have stood vacant for some years and the property owners have not been able to reassure the Council that these homes will be occupied in the near future.

The use of the compulsory purchase powers is part of the Council’s empty homes strategy, which aims to turn empty properties back into valuable and much needed homes in the city. Restoring empty properties back into homes can also address the anti-social and environmental issues that empty homes can present.

The five properties are valued at a total of around £416,000. If the Secretary of State confirms the compulsory purchase orders, the Council will either re-sell them on the open market, or to place them into Council housing stock. Any sales will include covenants that require the homes to be refurbished and occupied.

Councillor Fareed Hussain, Cabinet Member for Urban Renewal, said:

“Current demographic trends mean that the demand for housing continues to rise sharply in the city and also nationally. Unfortunately, the number of new homes being built in the city isn’t meeting the current levels of demand so it makes sense to make best use of the existing stock.

“Where possible we will work with property owners to encourage them to restore properties so they can be occupied, but there are occasions when does not prove possible. In those cases the Council is able to make use of compulsory purchase powers to obtain properties so they can be returned to the market and re-sold or kept as part of our own housing stock.

We have pledged to buy or renovate 300 empty homes across Derby to proactively address the issues that empty homes can cause – not least the pressures of making sure citizens of Derby can access safe homes to live in.”

Council Cabinet will discuss this report at their next meeting on Wednesday 12th July at 6.00pm. View the agenda.