Tackling empty homes in Northumberland

Do you have an empty property near you which is causing a blight on your community? Northumberland County Council has funding to bring 30 homes back into use.

Saturday, 18th March 2017, 10:11 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:07 am
Northumberland County Council is calling on residents to report empty homes in their communities.

Using a £750,000 grant from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), the council will be bringing 30 homes, from across the county, back into use.

To get a better idea of where there are empty properties the council is asking anyone who who lives near or owns a long-term empty property to get in touch, so the property can be considered as part of the scheme.

The council will take over the management of 25 properties, using an Empty Dwelling Management Order (EDMO). Using the grant, these properties would be brought back to a habitable condition and rented out. Where possible this will be done with the consent and agreement of the landlord or owner. However, if an agreement cannot be made the council can take the property from the owner to secure its future.

The council will also purchase five properties, which will be refurbished, and once rented, would be managed by the Homes for Northumberland team.

If the property you report is not suitable for this scheme, it would be added to an empty property register, allowing the council to work with owners to try and return it to the rental market.

To be considered, the property would need to have been empty for two years or more and be having a negative impact on the community, such as anti-social behaviour. All you need to provide is the address and postcode of the property, as well as any details you may have for the owner.

Coun Allan Hepple, cabinet member for housing at the council, said: "Empty properties can be a real blight on a community. We are encouraging anyone who is living near a house which is causing a nuisance, to get in touch.

"Although the property may not be suitable for help under the HCA-funded scheme, it will give the council a better idea of where there are problem properties. We may then be able to work with the owner, and offer them help and advice, to get the property up to scratch and back onto the rental market.

"Revitalising empty properties will help to provide much needed family homes across the county, as well as improving the areas in which people live."

To report a property contact the private-sector housing team on 01670 622299 or email [email protected]