Vow to tackle the blight of houses lying empty in city
A NEW strategy which could help tackle housing problems in the city has been given the nod.
Coventry City Council’s new Empty Homes Policy has been given the goahead and will aim to ensure empty homes will not remain unused unnecessarily or become derelict.
The main focus of the policy is on homes which are unused for a considerable period of time and, in cases, may have abandoned for some been years.
The council fears that if it does not intervene these houses may never come back into use.
Coun Ed Ruane, cabinet member for housing, heritage and sport, said: “Bringing empty properties back into use is a key priority for us.
“There is a need for additional accommodation units within the city and empty homes are a wasted resource and become a drain on public funds.
“It is important that we get abandoned homes back into circulation because if they are left for any length of time they can quickly fall into disrepair and affect the environ- mental quality of the neighbourhood. Often these houses become magnets for fly-tipping, anti-social behaviour, vandalism and arson.
“We have recently used our powers to force the sale of a long term empty and semi-derelict property in Holbrooks. This is a clear statement of our intent to continue with this course of action.”
The council says it has brought more than 1,500 empty homes back into use over the last five years. There are an estimated 134,181 properties in the city and, since 2012, the number of empty homes has dropped from 2,587 to 1,179 – less than one per cent of the city’s housing stock.
The new policy will look to reduce the number of empty homes across the city even further by identifying the owners and working with and offering advice to the owners of empty homes to make sure empty homes in Coventry are kept to a practical minimum.