March 11 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Almost 200 empty homes in Tendring have been brought back into use over the past year, it has been revealed.
A whole range of measures have been employed to tackle the issue which involves properties which have been vacant for six months or longer.
Tendring District Council (TDC) has been helping owners to address the situation – and will continue to do so.
There were around 885 long-term empty homes in Tendring in March this year and from October 2012 to October 2013 the council said it had successfully brought 197 back into use.
Paul Honeywood, TDC’s interim leader and cabinet member for housing, said it was a figure to be proud of.
“This is an excellent result and shows that our policies in this area are paying off handsomely,” he said.
“However, we will not be resting on our laurels and work will continue to reduce this number even further.”
Mr Honeywood said that the council had promised to deal with the issue and has delivered.
TDC successfully compulsorily purchased a house in Berkeley Road, Clacton, earlier this year and it is looking at two other properties.
Officers have been contacting owners of empty properties to find out why that is the case and encourages them to do something positive.
The council offers a range of advice as well as a letter which can help get a reduced rate of 5% VAT on various works associated with renovating a property.
TDC also received a cash pot of £1.3m which can be used to bring properties back into use in Jaywick and efforts have been taking place in that area over the past six months.
Mr Honeywood added that empty homes can also blight a neighbourhood.
“They can attract crime, arson, vandalism and anti-social behaviour and have a negative impact on an area,” he said.
Anyone concerned about a property in their community should contact TDC’s empty homes officer on 01255 686617.