Empty Homes Week, 15-21 February, provides an opportunity to highlight the work taking place to bring empty properties back into use to help meet housing needs.
Hull City Council is highlighting the work of the Empty Homes Programme which has brought 374 empty properties back into use, attracting over £11m in Homes England, DCLG, Right to Buy and LGF grant funding, over the last eight years.
The programme has converted empty homes in priority neighbourhoods, as well as derelict offices and former residential homes, bringing them back into use. It has, and continues to bring significant investment into the city, along with creating jobs and apprenticeships for the council and its partners.
Refurbishments have included frontage improvements and energy efficiency programmes, improving the look and efficiency of properties and helping to improve neighbourhoods.
Councillor John Black, Hull City Council’s portfolio holder for housing, said: “Bringing properties back into use improves the look of an area and helps reduce anti-social behaviour and problems that can adversely affect a neighbourhood. Through buying and refurbishing empty homes, we are also creating good quality council housing in a range of different areas, increasing the housing choices for potential tenants.”
The council also works with development partners and property owners to bring properties back into use. A further 1053 empty properties have been restored in conjunction with partners, and through working with landlords in the city.
There are currently 3,900 private properties in Hull that have been empty for over six months and every owner has been, or will be, contacted by the council and offered assistance.
Councillor John Black, continued: “Based on experience gained over the last eight years, around 70 percent of empty properties will be refurbished by the owner. The remaining owners of empty properties will be offered a range of options to bring their property back into use, including sale to the council, its partners or by being put in contact with developers looking for properties in the city.”
Anyone that notices an empty property can contact the council to report it, and landlords who own an empty property can contact the council for assistance on 01482 300300.