Council gets tough on empty homes

In Wolverhampton, homes left empty long-term face seizure to help with housing strategy.

empty homes

Housing bosses in Wolverhampton back the seizure of long-term empty properties to house homeless families.

The city council has put private landlords on notice as to exactly what the ‘Empty Properties Strategy’ means – any homes empty over long periods of time will be seized to provide accommodation options.

This, the council says, is the purpose behind the strategy – the provision of additional housing and the generation of additional civic income by reintroducing vacant properties to the market.

The council’s cabinet resources panel is due to debate the compulsory purchase of two long-term empty homes next week – one dating back to 2002, the other to 2003.

In both cases, the council says interactions with the owners have had to go to enforcement to get even minor works done.

A council spokesman said: “Long-term empty properties can have a detrimental impact and cause an environmental blight.

“Bringing properties back into residential use improves the appearance of neighbourhoods, enhances property conditions and contributes to the regeneration of the city.

“Putting an empty property back into use improves the health and wellbeing of the new occupants and provides safe and secure housing.

“It also reduces any anxiety associated with crime and the fear of crime that living next to an empty house can cause.”