Coventry takes measures to bring empty houses back into use

In order to address the city’s housing need and increase the availability of high-quality homes, Coventry Council is taking measures to bring empty houses back into use.

The new Empty Dwellings Strategy will see a major five-year plan to reduce the number of long-term vacant properties in the city, including any home that has been empty for six months or more.

brown brick wall with green plants on the sideAn empty dwellings officer will be recruited in the coming weeks to coordinate housing and enforcement services to tackle the issue, with more work being done with private landlords to help identify ways to get properties into use.

The strategy will also publicise and engage with property owners so that they clearly understand the latest legislation and their responsibilities to maintain property standards.

Cllr David Welsh, cabinet member for housing and communities, said: ‘We want to put extra resources in to bring empty properties back in use and that’s why we recruiting to a new dedicated post to co-ordinate this work. An empty dwelling officer will be able to link with different services to effectively co-ordinated our work to really encourage owners to rethink the way their properties could be used.

‘We have a Let’s Rent scheme that I really want us to promote more widely to encourage private landlords to rethink the way their property is used. We know there is a national housing shortage and this strategy is just one way we can help to tackle that shortage in Coventry. It will allow us to provide homes to people who need them and protect our local environment.

‘The policy will focus on empty properties that are becoming an eyesore through neglect or vandalism, or are a target for anti-social behaviour – issues that can have an impact on the whole neighbourhood and affect the quality of life for those who live and work nearby.’

In related news, empty shops in Bath are being repurposed for the community, as part of the Council’s Vacant Units Action Project.

Photo by Jobin Bennykutty


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