Building a Case for i-Direct Purchase Budget & b-Works in default Budget

Anyone out there in the last 3 years that has sought and secured approval and budget allocation for

i-an Empty Homes Direct Purchase budget?

ii. a Works In Default budget for empty homes work?

I'm especially interested in stories from practitioners who have then gone on make hay when using these budgets over the last 3 years.

I'm looking for inspiration.


Nick P-G 0118 937 3091

Other enforcement

While I'm at it, anyone out there done either or both of the following in the last 3 years?

Sought approval for reinvestment of a portion of New Homes Bonus reward back into empty homes work?

Sought approval to use section 106 money to support empty homes work?

The second question should get more interesting as the 2019 National Planning Policy Framework now states, “plans and decisions should support efforts to identify and bring back into residential use empty homes and other buildings, supported by the use of compulsory purchase powers –CPO- where appropriate”

I look forward to hearing from someone.

Nick P-G 0118 9373091

Nick P-G
Reading BC

Hi Nick,

I am in the process of submitting a committee report to allow me to use S106 monies to bring long-term empty homes back into use as affordable housing. I'm happy to keep you updated with its progress.

I have also previously asked for some of the NHB to be allocated to EH work, as I currently have no budget available, but my request was declined!

Sally N

Swindon Borough Council

We are in the fortunate position of being asked from the top down to purchase as many empty homes as possible. As we have an ALMO and therefore still an HRA we are using right to buy receipts for this. If RTB receipts are not spent then after a certain period they have to be paid to the government.

During the NHB exercise over the summer we combined the two activities and promoted our offer to directly purchase property, meaning owners did not have agent fees to pay. We will also purchase property already on the market but the owners will then incur agent commission.

Sue Li

Compulsory Purchase and Enforcement Officer

Derby City Council

Hi Sue

I have a question: once you have purchased the property, by whichever means, do you, as the LA, then renovate and re-sell/let? So is this an in-house renovation stream? And if so I assume this generates revenue to then be re-used to purchase more properties?

We have had a rolling budget for all empty homes work for a number of years. We use it for loans, default work, CPOs and purchase by agreement and other than costs associated with inquiries and advertising CPOs we get all of it back so it is self replenishing. We get the money back from CPOs and purchase by agreements upon sale, and we knock off any default costs from payments made to the owner on completion.  This budget was pledged when they started introducing a 100% charge for empty properties about ten years ago but we don't get it topped up anymore. It works very well for us, in fact I don't know how we would even function without it.