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Life in the Lakes - a review of our EHN conference

It’s already Friday but I’m still thinking about Wednesday’s first Empty Homes Network conference with Adam Cliff at the helm.  Great programme by the way, Adam. 

As we’ve come to expect over the years with David Gibbens organising, one of the reasons the conference is always so well attended is the programme.  It has to include subjects that empty homes officers are interested in and want to learn more about.  For example new schemes that have been trialled, community work, partnership working, enforcement and updates from Action on Empty Homes.

Guardian, ITV news and Metro report launch of Empty Homes in England 2019

The Guardian, The Metro and ITV News have covered the launch of Empty Homes in England 2019.

Action on Empty Homes Director and Campaigns Manager Chris Bailey were also interviewed on BBC Radio Cumbria and BBC Radio Humberside this morning.

You can read this morning's coverage here:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/sep/23/empty-homes-in-england-up-by-11000-last-year-study-shows

Jeremy Corbyn calls for second homes levy as tens of thousands of properties sit empty in crisis-hit London

The Hackney Gazette reports:

London may be in the grip of a housing crisis, but it has more than 67,000 homes with no permanent residents, according to government figures.

Last year in the capital there were 22,481 long-term empty homes - long-term being more than six months - and 44,641 second homes.

At the same time, rough sleeping figures are at a record high and London councils have more than 56,000 families and 88,000 children living in largely unsuitable temporary accommodation.

SDLT - Uninhabitable properties shouldn’t pay the extra stamp duty surcharge on second homes

Dear All

Some of you may not be aware of a recent case that related to stamp duty surcharge. 

It may be a way that Empty Property Officers can add value to their clients as well as advising them on the usual reduced vat schemes.

Since 2016, there has been an extra 3% stamp duty tax on properties bought as an additional property to the buyer’s home. Now homebuyers, buy to let investors, and developers buying an additional property might be able to cut out the surcharge if the home is derelict. 

Please fill in our short survey to help us build a national picture of community action on empty homes

Brighid Carey, Action on Empty Homes writes:

Action on Empty Homes is developing a Community Action Toolkit for local authorities, community groups and other partnerships to use as a resource to help bring empty homes into use as affordable housing for local people. We expect the Toolkit to be available for free download from our website in early 2021. As we start this work, we’d like to gain a snapshot of the extent to which local authorities are currently collaborating with communities to bring empty homes into use.

Life in the Lakes - June/July 2019

Life in the Lakes – June/July 2019

Thanks to everyone who contacted me to let me know your council had increased the council tax Premium. It’ll be very interesting to hear after the first six months to a year what effect (if any) the doubling of the Premium has made to your work.

Personally speaking I like the idea that some other councils are already using, which is aimed at those genuinely struggling financially to complete repairs, by offering an option for a ‘holiday’ from the Premium while repairs are completed.

Life in the Lakes - April - May 2019

Oh dear, I can’t believe the last blog I posted was after last year’s Empty Homes Network conference, where did that time go?!

Our council is currently undergoing a major transformation where all our current roles will no longer exist and we will be invited to apply for generic roles instead. I’m looking at it all a positive way (my usual ‘default’ position) and hoping that I’ll still be able to carry out empty homes work, which I love. I’ve learned so much over the past ten years and am still learning and enjoying new challenges.

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