Published and promoted by Paul Mercer, 58A Wards End, Loughborough LE11 3HB This site only uses cookies in order to collect anonymous usage data for Google Analytics and StatCounter. By using this site we assume that you are happy to receive cookies.
Charnwood’s latest empty homes figures disprove Labour claim In a leaflet circulated to Southfields residents, Labour’s candidate for the May elections, Arthur Gould, has alleged that the council’s promise to address the problem of empty homes was an “empty promise”. This week, Charnwood has exceeded its target of getting 50 homes back into use. “Empty homes is one of my responsibilities on the Cabinet and over the past three years are excellent empty homes officer has intervened to ensure that about 150 homes are now back in use”, commented local Southfields councillor Paul Mercer. Charnwood ensures that empty homes are bought back into use as a result of direct interventions and these include offering advice and assistance, visits, instigating investigations, offering partnership grants and, ultimately, threatening legal action. There will always be empty homes simply because people will sometimes move to a new house before selling an existing property, they will buy a property that needs renovating, a property may not sell easily or they die. This process is known to estate agents as ‘churn’ and reflects a healthy housing market. There are 73,500 homes in Charnwood and only 469 (0.65%) are empty. The ones that are of most concern to the empty homes officer are the 274 (0.38%) which have been empty for more than two years. Of the 469 the owners of 255 have, so far, returned questionnaires to Charnwood. Of these, 47 are for sale, three are for let, 160 are in the process of being renovated, 16 are in poor condition, two are unable to sell and 27 are empty because the owner has deceased or for another reason. As a result of lobbying by Paul, in 2016 Charnwood introduced an empty homes premium which means that 50% extra council tax is charged if they have been empty for more than two years. There are currently 149 empty homes being charged this premium and the Council recently agreed to take advantage of higher premiums for properties that had been empty for longer periods. This is likely to assist the empty homes officer in being out to put pressure on the owners to act. Charnwood is also investigating five properties where the owners appear to have no interest in responding and legal action is being considered – compulsory purchase orders and enforced sales. “This has been one of the real success stories of Charnwood’s housing”, added Paul, “and it is outrageous that Gould should wrongly allege that it is an ‘empty promise’. There will always be a small percentage of empty homes at any time, but our approach is not only bringing back into use at an average of one house per week but we also providing a considerable amount of advice and assistance to many owners who previously were unsure about what to do with their empty properties.”
Published and promoted by Paul Mercer, 58A Wards End, Loughborough LE11 3HB
This site only uses cookies in order to collect anonymous usage data for Google Analytics and StatCounter. By using this site we assume that you are happy to receive cookies.
Charnwood’s latest empty homes figures disprove Labour claim In a leaflet circulated to Southfields residents, Labour’s candidate for the May elections, Arthur Gould, has alleged that the council’s promise to address the problem of empty homes was an “empty promise”. This week, Charnwood has exceeded its target of getting 50 homes back into use. “Empty homes is one of my responsibilities on the Cabinet and over the past three years are excellent empty homes officer has intervened to ensure that about 150 homes are now back in use”, commented local Southfields councillor Paul Mercer. Charnwood ensures that empty homes are bought back into use as a result of direct interventions and these include offering advice and assistance, visits, instigating investigations, offering partnership grants and, ultimately, threatening legal action. There will always be empty homes simply because people will sometimes move to a new house before selling an existing property, they will buy a property that needs renovating, a property may not sell easily or they die. This process is known to estate agents as ‘churn’ and reflects a healthy housing market. There are 73,500 homes in Charnwood and only 469 (0.65%) are empty. The ones that are of most concern to the empty homes officer are the 274 (0.38%) which have been empty for more than two years. Of the 469 the owners of 255 have, so far, returned questionnaires to Charnwood. Of these, 47 are for sale, three are for let, 160 are in the process of being renovated, 16 are in poor condition, two are unable to sell and 27 are empty because the owner has deceased or for another reason. As a result of lobbying by Paul, in 2016 Charnwood introduced an empty homes premium which means that 50% extra council tax is charged if they have been empty for more than two years. There are currently 149 empty homes being charged this premium and the Council recently agreed to take advantage of higher premiums for properties that had been empty for longer periods. This is likely to assist the empty homes officer in being out to put pressure on the owners to act. Charnwood is also investigating five properties where the owners appear to have no interest in responding and legal action is being considered – compulsory purchase orders and enforced sales. “This has been one of the real success stories of Charnwood’s housing”, added Paul, “and it is outrageous that Gould should wrongly allege that it is an ‘empty promise’. There will always be a small percentage of empty homes at any time, but our approach is not only bringing back into use at an average of one house per week but we also providing a considerable amount of advice and assistance to many owners who previously were unsure about what to do with their empty properties.”