Number of empty homes in Cornwall significantly reduced

Cornwall Council has met its aim of reducing the number of long-term empty properties, with 800 fewer empty homes than a year ago, falling below the English average.

This marks progress for the area since 2017, when the percentage of empty homes in Cornwall was a third higher than the national average.

The Council had set out to reduce the proportion of long-term empty homes in its area to the national average or below by the end of its Housing Service Plan for 2018 to 2022.

Across England, the number of long-term empty properties has dropped by about 30,000 in the past year.

Olly Monk, Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing and Planning, said: ‘This is very positive news. During a housing crisis the last thing anybody wants is homes sitting empty. Empty properties are simply a wasted resource. They can also be an eyesore for communities and cause other concerns.

‘This reduction is thanks to the hard work of the Council’s Empty Homes Team in our Private Sector Housing department, which communicates and engages with owners to help bring empty properties back into use through advice and assistance – including our successful Empty Property Loan scheme – and by taking enforcement action where necessary.

‘The Empty Homes Team is working hard to further reduce the number, and we are also continuing to work across a wide range of other initiatives to tackle the housing issues we are faced with from all angles.’

Empty properties can be reported to the Council through a dedicated website and the Empty Homes Team also matches owners of empty homes who would like to sell with potential buyers who want to bring them back into use.

In related news, the NewStart team headed to Manchester for the launch of Action on Empty Homes’ new toolkit, which helps local authorities and communities work together to bring empty homes back into use, delivering affordable and sustainable housing for local people.

Photo supplied by Cornwall Council


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