Owners of empty homes in Calderdale who need help to bring them back into use are invited to the Council’s drop-in advice sessions during National Empty Homes Week (Monday 23 to Sunday 29 September 2019).
During the awareness-raising week, Calderdale Council is reminding people of the support it can offer to help breathe new life into empty properties.
Cllr Jane Scullion, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Resources, said:
“We want people to feel proud to live in Calderdale, so we’re committed to bringing empty homes back into use as we know they can blight our communities, attract anti-social behaviour and devalue surrounding properties. We always encourage owners to work with us and use the support available to turn their empty house into a home.”
The Council is running three drop-in sessions to give advice on topics such as selling and renting; work that can be carried out on empty properties; community-led solutions and short-term finance options. There’s no need to book – just come along:
· Monday 23 September, 10am – 12 noon: Hebden Bridge Library
· Monday 23 September, 2pm – 4pm: Brighouse Customer First at Brighouse Civic Hall
· Friday 27 September, 10am – 4pm: Halifax Customer First
In just one year, between October 2017 and October 2018, the Council reduced the number of long-term empty homes in Calderdale by 130.
This was achieved through a range of ongoing action. For example, the Council has employees whose time is dedicated to supporting owners; it regularly promotes the help available using a variety of methods; and employees go out to check empty properties to see whether they have been brought back into use.
However, there is more work to be done and the Council will continue to tackle empty homes, stepping up its action during National Empty Homes Week.
The preference is always to work with homeowners to proactively resolve the issues, but in some cases the Council has to use its enforcement powers to ensure owners of empty properties take action.
These powers could include the enforced sale of a property to cover the costs incurred by the Council for work, including the removal of fly-tipping or the boarding up of windows and doors to secure the property.
As a last resort, the Council may have to use Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) to tackle more problematic empty properties, where owners fail to take any action to address the resulting issues which are being caused in the local community.
For more information or to seek support from Calderdale Council’s Empty Homes Team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org