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Communities Minster finds out story of Bristol’s empty homes success
Release date: Thu, 04/10/2012
Communities and Local Government Minister Don Foster MP will be finding out more about the city’s success in bringing empty private homes back into use today (THURS 4/10/12)
Every year, the city council’s empty housing team makes a major contribution to the city’s current’s ongoing housing shortage by bringing back hundreds of private empty houses into occupation.
And in the last 12 months the council exceeded its own target by more than a quarter, delivering in all 507 homes.
Councillor Anthony Negus, Cabinet Member for Housing, Property and Regeneration, said: “We will be telling the Minister about the real success that the city has been seeing in bringing more empty private homes back into use.
“With privately rented housing now heavily in demand, more so than at any time in the last sixty years, every home that we can bring back into use is very important. The approach of Bristol is to work with owners, to offer them help and support and to try and do so before the house has stood empty for long.
“But where a landlord refuses to engage with us then we will move on to the threat of enforcement and, ultimately, possible compulsory purchase.”
Investigations into the house that the Minister will be visiting were started by the council’s private housing team in 2006. According to Council Tax records the property, in Fairfield Road, became empty three years earlier. The property is currently in need of repairs. However, while some work has been undertaken by the owner, these have not been done with sufficient speed.
In February 2011, Bristol City Council together with the three other West of England partnerships, joined Kent County Council’s highly-successful No Use Empty campaign which targets private empty properties. More information about what help is available can be found at www.no-use-emptywest.co.uk