Empty homes are back in use

A TOTAL of 45 empty properties have been brought back into use in the last 14 months since the start of a council initiative to tackle the problem.

East Northamptonshire Council has been running a joint project with Corby Council to try and cut the number of empty properties.

The project, which has been funded by the Department of Communities and Local Government, focuses on contacting and working with owners of empty properties with the aim of bringing them back into use.

It has been running since March last year and since it began, a total of 45 properties in East Northamptonshire have been brought back into use.

A further four buildings which had been left empty as part of plans to redevelop sites or were beyond economical repair have also been demolished.

The council’s efforts have been filmed for two national television shows - Channel 4’s The Great British Property Scandal and the BBC show Britain’s Empty Homes.

Council leader Steven North said to begin discussions with the owners of empty properties, the local authority had sent letters to them asking if there was any way it could help them bring the buildings back into use. He said getting the empty properties back into use was beneficial for everyone.

Cllr North said: “There is a great need for social and private housing across the whole country. East Northamptonshire is a lovely place to live and sometimes residents for whatever reason just need help getting a property back on the market - they might not know the process or find it quite difficult.

“It could be a case of a bereavement or not knowing what to do with a property and just leaving it sitting there. It’s much better to utilise these properties.”