New lease of life for empty homes

Brought to you by the News Post Leader.
Brought to you by the News Post Leader.

Work has started on bringing empty properties in Northumberland back into use.

As part of National Empty Homes Week (October 16 to 22), Northumberland County Council started to repair the four homes after using an Empty Dwelling Management Order.

Working alongside landlords and owners, the council has taken over management of the properties, and once full repairs are carried out, it is expected the first tenants will move in later this year.

The properties – a mixture of two and three-bedroom homes and flats – are in Blyth, Ashington and Pegswood.

Using a £750,000 grant from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), the council has been able, for the first time, to use powers to initiate the EDMO process, bringing 30 homes back into use.

The council will take over the management of 25 properties, using an EDMO. It will also purchase five properties, which will be refurbished and rented out by the authority’s housing management team.

Coun John Riddle, cabinet member for planning, housing and resilience, said: “Empty properties are a real problem in Northumberland.

“Empty homes can be a real blight on a community, and can lead to anti-social behaviour and a loss of pride in a community.”

“So it’s great to see that work has now started to bring four family homes back into use.

“We understand there is still more that needs to be done, and will be continuing to work closely with landlords and owners to identify other properties where we can offer help, advice or financial assistance to provide these homes with a new lease of life.”

If you have a property near you which has been empty for two or more years contact the private sector housing team on (01670) 622299 or email privatesectorhousing@northumberland.gov.uk