Recently it was announced that over 10,000 homes across the UK have been empty for 10 years.
As part of the Council’s strategy to reduce empty homes in Derby, and to help provide more affordable housing, the Council has is set to agree the purchase five long-term vacant properties using compulsory purchase powers.
Councillor Fareed Hussain, Cabinet Member for Housing and Urban Renewal said:
“We are committed to bringing empty homes back into use, as a sustainable way of helping the housing market, and reducing the negative impact that neglected empty homes can have on the city.
“In order to meet the demand for housing, the Council must make the best possible use of existing stock, and while these steps may not solve the housing crisis, it is certain to have a considerable impact.”
The Council uses enforcement options only as a last resort, where all possibility of reaching a voluntary agreement with the owner of an empty home, however dos, on occasion need to take action.
Since 2011, the reduction in the number of empty homes in the city has earned in the region of £5m. The work of the Council’s Empty Homes Service has also helped to recover considerable debt associated with empty properties, with empty homes related activity having helped recover approximately £500,000 of debt in the last five years.
The work of the team has helped ensure that 635 empty properties have been renovated and reoccupied, in the last five years, providing good quality housing and reducing the neighbourhood blight and ASB issues often associated with long term empty homes.
Historically, Derby City Council has been acknowledged nationally for its proactive approach to empty homes, being cited by the Homes and Communities Agency as an example of best practice.