- Apply links menu
- Adult learning course list
- Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction
- Allotments list
- Jobs at the Council
- Bus pass
- Library membership
- Carer's assessment
- Council housing services
- Planning applications
- Council tax and business rates
- Property licence
- Disabled parking
- Recycling and waste services
- Free school meals
- School places
- HomeChoice Bristol
- Social services assistance
- Pay links menu
- Report links menu
- My Account links menu
Council exceeds empty homes target by 20 per cent
Release date: Tue, 11/09/2012
Over the last year Bristol City Council has brought more privately-owned empty homes back into residential use than ever before.
The council had a target of 400 empty homes to be brought back into use for the year 2011-2012 but in fact was able to exceed the target by 20 per cent, or a total of 508 extra homes, to help meet the city’s growing housing demand.
The major jump in the council’s performance on empty houses was achieved by focusing on those private properties which had been empty for less than six months and which can therefore be brought more readily back into use without the need for more than minor refurbishment.
Councillor Anthony Negus, Cabinet Member for Housing, Property and Regeneration, said: “Bringing more empty homes back into use is one of the key priorities for the city because it is another way of easing the growing housing demand.
“Targeting houses which have been empty for less than six months offers a ‘quick win’ but I am determined that we should also tackle those which have been unoccupied for longer including those empty for over 10 years.
“We always seek to work with homeowners in the first instance, for example offering support in finding finance or overcoming technical or planning difficulties. But where people refuse to engage with us we will proceed to the threat of enforcement including, as a last resort, compulsory purchase.”
Bristol City Council’s empty property team currently has 17 cases which are at various stages of the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) process.
The city’s own performance on empty council homes, as well as empty private homes, is also good with the level of ‘management voids’ – the time homes stand empty between tenants – consistently below the two per cent Government target for social landlords.
And while in the past there had been an issue with some high-repair, often acquired, properties, remaining empty due to a lack of funds to repair them or uncertainty about their future, the position has improved significantly.
Clear processes and new initiatives are now in place to determine which high-repair homes can be refurbished, which could be refurbished by DIY families and which properties are no longer viable and would be best put up for auction.
Since summer 2011, the Responsive Repairs team in the council’s Landlord Services department has brought back into use approximately 60 long-standing high-repair homes with an average cost of around £11,000.
In addition, the council, in conjunction with the several other West of England authorities, supported several Registered Providers in their bids for Homes and Communities Agency funding to bring more empty homes back into use.
Bristol Community Housing Foundation was awarded money to fund low-interest loans in order to bring 15 empty homes needing repair back into use.
Jephson was awarded money to tackle a total of 15 empty homes, 10 though a lease and repair scheme, three through a purchase and repair scheme with a view to renting and a further two with a view to selling.
Ashley Community and Housing, which was awarded funding for its work in Bristol to lease and repair 10 empty homes
If you are a private landlord and would like to offer your accommodation to the City Council to help meet housing need please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0117 3526888.
For more information about what the council is doing and what help is available for anyone with an empty property who wishes to bring it back into use, or if you wish tell us about an empty property, please go to http://www.bristol.gov.uk/ccm/navigation/housing/private-housing/empty-residential-properties/ or phone 0117 3525010