Council May Take Over Hundreds of Empty Homes

483 vacant more than six months could be subject to CPO

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Empty homes which have fallen into disrepair could be taken away from their owners to help ease the borough’s housing shortage.

Ealing Council can issue Compulsorily Purchase Orders (CPO) on empty properties but say this will only be used as a last resort if owners continue to leave their houses unoccupied and in poor condition.

They have agreed to use this approach in order to deal with the large number of empty properties across the borough, with 483 thought to have been vacant for more than six months.

The council say empty properties can become an eyesore and magnet for crime and anti-social behaviour if left unoccupied for a long time. Neighbours to these properties often have to endure fly-tipping, graffiti, vermin and drug and alcohol misuse as a consequence.

Owners of empty properties can receive funding for some or all of the improvements which are needed through the empty property grants scheme.

Anyone awarded £5,000 to £30,000 funding through the scheme has to providing affordable rental accommodation for council tenants for a minimum of five years. The property must be ready for occupation within 12 months of the date of grant approval.

Councillor Hitesh Tailor, cabinet member for housing, employment and skills, said: “We have already dealt with lots of empty properties, but there are still many more out there and we will continue to tackle the more persistent ones. These powers will help us increase affordable housing, reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and spruce up these unsightly derelict properties, making them part of their local communities once again.”

The decision was taken at the council’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday, 23 July 2013.



9th August 2013