Cornwall Council offers a range of advice and assistance to help bring long-term empty properties back into use. Its Empty Property Loan scheme has loaned more than £2 million to directly enable over 100 residential units.
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North East Derbyshire District Council are celebrating Empty Homes week by holding an event for owners of empty properties across the District. The event has been jointly organised between the Council and Action Housing - who are a Social Housing provider - and has been designed to promote their 'Sustainable Tenancy Project' which aims to provide housing for young people aged 18-24 who have support needs.
I have just posted a discussion draft of a document that may be submitted to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and that explores the relevance - or potential relevance - of empty homes for the disaster.
Given media reports of Grenfell survivors continuing to live in hotels, the frequent references to empty homes in Kensington and Chelsea, and the headlines when senior Labour politicians proposed requisitioning empty homes to meet the survivors' immediate housing needs, some kind of formal input from the Network seems essential.
A very successful and well-attended Empty Homes Conference on Wednesday in Birmingham contained one poignant moment, when the delegates showed their appreciation for Chris Skinner, who sadly died in February, by offering a collective salute.
Chris was well-known for his work as a solicitor supporting Empty Homes practitioners up and down the country over many years, particularly in the area of Compulsory Purchase. He had also spoken at two previous conferences.
Destin Solutions Ltd. is seeking to help local authorities maximise NHB by partnering with a local authority empty homes team or practitioner to pilot new approaches to data cleansing of the 2017 CTB return.
The Empty Homes Network has now submitted its evidence to the National Housing Taskforce set up by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Planning. The final documents were sent to Lord Richard Best, Chair of the workstream associated with empty homes, Helen Williams, Chief Executive of the Empty Homes Agency, and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, who were providing the secretariat for the workstream.
We are about to write to England's 326 housing authorities asking them to complete a simple survey about the staff resources deployed to tackle private sector empties in their area.
We will be emailing the addresses we have for Freedom of Information requests, but initially we will not be presenting this as an FOI request, in order to avoid the associated bureaucracy. We are expecting the FOI addressee to pass the email down to operational levels - so it may come to our members eventually.
The Empty Homes Network has drafted its submissions to the National Housing Taskforce, which is an initiative of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Housing and Planning. The submissions are now available for comment by our members.