01/03/2023 - Permalink

Shropshire Council supports National Empty Homes Week this week

Related topics: Housing / Planning / Public protection

Shropshire Council is supporting National Empty Homes Week, a national campaign organised by Action on Empty Homes, which runs until this Sunday (5 March 2023). The campaign focuses on addressing the problem of long-term empty properties across the UK.

The council recently agreed a new Empty Homes Strategy to support the council’s wider Housing Strategy. This includes tackling the impact of long-term empty homes to minimise the detriment to local communities, in terms of risk, nuisance, and wasted housing resources.

There are a variety of reasons why homes become and remain empty, but there are also a range of options available to owners of empty properties to bring them back into effective use; in some cases, this can include financial grants.

The council has recently employed additional resources to increase our ability to proactively work with owners of empty homes; this includes homes that have been unoccupied for a substantial period of time.

Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for growth, regeneration and housing, said:-

“We are pleased to be supporting National Empty Homes Week and highlight what we are doing to return empty properties to use. Through the new strategy, the council aims to assist owners to make the best use of existing housing and support communities affected by empty homes.

“The work carried out by the empty homes team in bringing empty homes back into use is crucial to the council’s aims to maintain sustainable communities, and also has the further benefit of providing much needed additional housing within communities where there are high levels of housing need.

“We want our local communities to be vibrant and prosperous, and this includes ensuring homes are occupied. If left unoccupied, homes can become a target for anti-social behaviour and criminal damage: they can become unsightly and even dangerous, and a blight our communities.

“We are working hard to identify empty properties in our area and will work with the owners to bring them back into use. We encourage owners of empty homes within the Shropshire Council area to contact us for support.”

Frances Darling, Shropshire Council’s head of business and consumer protection, said:-

“Whilst there are tools available to the council to enforce the sale of empty properties, this is not where the council wants to focus its efforts. We want to work with owners of empty homes to help them find the solution that works best for them, and to ultimately ensure empty homes are brought back into use for the benefit of the owner and the wider community.”

Further information can be found on the council’s website.

For further advice, contact the empty homes team on 0345 678 9067 or at emptyhomes@shropshire.gov.uk.