HOMES COSTING CHISWICK RESIDENTS THOUSANDS
campaign to bring back empty properties into
use could bring income to landlords and increase
the value of neighbouring houses.
new campaign is launched today to combat the
increasing problem of empty homes in the area,
homes that would significantly reduce the homelessness
issue in the borough if they were inhabitable.
An estimated 500 houses in Chiswick and Gunnersbury
lie empty, houses that are losing hundreds
of thousands of pounds of rental income for
owners and causing misery for neighbours.
Council spokesman said, "Chiswick residents
could be losing thousands of the value of their
home because of derelict houses in their streets".
campaign to bring these empty homes back into
use will be focusing on Empty Homes Grants.
These grants, of up to £15,000, are available
to owners needing to carry out works to empty
properties. In return for the grant, owners
allow the council to rent the house for 5 years,
providing a guaranteed income.
man taking advantage of the grant scheme is
John Joyce. Mr Joyce bought a derelict house
in Isleworth with the intention of renting
it out privately but came to the council when
he found out about the scheme.
going through the grants process, Mr Joyce
said “the house is in a very bad state, needing
a new kitchen and bathroom, new windows and
roof repairs. These are quite substantial works
and it is great to have the help of the council.
I am also pleased to know that, once the works
are finished, I will have a guaranteed and
regular income from the council. It’s terrible
that there are so many empty houses around
when they could be put to such good use.”
Khwaja, Lead Member for Housing on the Council’s
Executive, said, “Empty homes can cause huge
problems, especially in terms of the crime
and anti social behaviour they attract and
the additional cost to society of housing people
in temporary accommodation when houses are
standing empty. By bringing homes back into
use we can start to ease the current housing
shortage and put even more effort into tackling
the problems of homelessness.”
Turner, Empty Homes Officer for Hounslow Council,
thinks that last year’s figure should be beaten.
Gareth said “residents can help to improve
neighbourhoods and bring these homes back into
use by letting me know of any empty homes in
their local areas. I can then track down the
owners of the homes and let them know about
the scheme, or encourage owners to make their
homes available to rent. The opportunity for
rent means that everyone can win from this
scheme, owners, landlords and residents. Residents
can call me on 020 8583 3863.”
Empty Homes Agency, a national charity that
deals specifically with empty homes, estimates
that 4% of all homes in the country are empty.
Many of these are temporarily empty but an
increasing number remain empty for a number
of months, and even years. Age and weather
damage means that they become uninhabitable.
Tenants to Benefit from Massive Government