Bringing empty houses into use

EAST Devon District Council is being given help to bring empty homes back into use in the current economic climate. Housing Minister Margaret Beckett has published new guidance with the Empty Homes Agency, setting out the range of powers local authorities can use to tackle the problem of empty homes

EAST Devon District Council is being given help to bring empty homes back into use in the current economic climate.

Housing Minister Margaret Beckett has published new guidance with the Empty Homes Agency, setting out the range of powers local authorities can use to tackle the problem of empty homes.

While the number of long- term empty homes has fallen by nine per cent over the last decade, Mrs Beckett is calling on councils to take firmer action to tackle the blight of empty homes and re-use properties.

The guidance sets out how local authorities can use the tools at their disposal for dealing with empty homes, including increasing pressure on owners to bring their empty properties back into use, tracking down owners of empty properties and encouraging local authorities to issue Dwelling Management Orders.


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Margaret Beckett said: "Empty homes blight local neighbourhoods and can potentially attract anti-social behaviour. That is why councils must do all they can to bring empty homes in their area back into use.

"I believe that, with an increased focus and more consistent approach, we can bring more homes back into use.

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"With house building slowing in the current economic climate, that is more important than ever.

"The new guidance helps strengthen the role of councils by setting out the broad powers they have to deal with empty homes, and is part of the range of actions we are taking to support the regeneration of our towns and cities.

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