Support available to turn empty houses into happy homes

This national Empty Homes Week, (Monday 28 February – Sunday 6 March) Calderdale Council is highlighting the support available and the work that takes place to help bring empty properties back into use.

Long-term empty homes can cause nuisance to neighbours, potentially attracting anti-social behaviour and vandalism, as well as being a wasted resource in our communities. Bringing empty properties back into use, and converting vacant buildings into housing, increases the amount and range of housing available and complements new development.

The Council is working hard to reduce the number of empty homes. There’s a range of support available for owners, including advice on how to get renovation projects moving again and information on topics such as selling and renting, work that can be carried out on empty properties, community-led solutions and short-term finance options.

Priority work also takes place to prevent homes becoming empty in the first place and the Council works with owners to maintain tenancies and ownership and support vulnerable tenants. To discourage owners from keeping their property empty, there is also an additional Empty Homes Premium of 100% Council tax, rising to 200% if the property has been empty for more than five years.

Enforcement action to tackle long-term empty homes is always a last resort, but there are a number of ways in which the Council can deal with empty homes which are causing serious issues. These include repair and improvement notices to force owners to take action and even enforced sales or compulsory purchase orders.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Resilience, Cllr Scott Patient, said:

“During Empty Homes Week, we want to highlight the issues that empty properties can cause and encourage owners to take steps to turn their properties into much-needed homes. There’s lots of support available from the Council and we’re happy to advise owners to resolve issues that are preventing a property being renovated or sold.

“We’re also encouraging people to let us know about empty properties in their area, so we can actively work towards getting them re-occupied. We always prefer to work with owners to resolve any problems, but in some cases the Council has to use its enforcement powers to ensure owners of empty properties take action – particularly if the property is causing issues in the local community.

“We know there is a high demand for properties in Calderdale and we want to support owners to turn empty houses into happy homes.”

To find out more about the support available to owners of empty properties, or to highlight a local issue with an empty home, visit


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