November 19, 2010 3.30 pm This story is over 160 months old

Councils to reduce number of empty houses

Match-making: Houses unoccupied for over six months will be looked at by six local councils.

From November 22, six Lincolnshire councils will introduce a service that will try to bring back in use homes that have been empty for over six months.

The City of Lincoln Council, North Kesteven District Council, Boston Borough, East and West Lindsey and South Holland are part of the new scheme.

There are around 21,000 people on homeless registers across the county, and around 10,000 private homes identified as empty in the pas six months.

Called The Lincolnshire Empty Homes, the project coincides with the national week of action for empty homes from charity Empty Homes.

The initiative mainly concerns privately owned houses in the areas covered by the six councils, that have stood empty for at least six months.

The project will not focus on all empty properties, but look at what can be done about problematic houses where the owner has no intention of returning it to use.

Councillor Eddie Strengiel, Housing Portfolio holder for the City of Lincoln Council, said the scheme could reduce the number of long-term empty homes.

“We believe it will bring a number of benefits, in particular it will help tackle those properties that can have a negative impact on the local community.

“It should also help to increase the supply of affordable housing in Lincolnshire, and reduce homelessness too,” Strengel added.

Councillor Stewart Ogden, of North Kesteven District Council said: “This is a great opportunity to get some of the empty homes in our district back into use, where they can help families struggling to afford homes and also enhance the communities in which they currently sit derelict and in disrepair.”