More than 400 Lincoln houses sitting empty

Across the city, 436 homes have been sat empty for longer than six months, a Freedom of Information request by The Lincolnite has revealed

Nine of the empty properties have been left without an occupant since 1993, over 25 years.

The news comes as people and families across the city sit on housing waiting lists.

The majority of homes are said to be privately owned, leaving the council with few options to combat the problem.

Lincoln has a large private housing sector, with 77% or 33,205 of the housing stock being owned privately or privately rented as of 2014.

More homes could be empty across Lincoln too, as the figure does not include those which are derelict and so deleted from the council tax register.

Sara Boothright from the City of Lincoln Council said: “The council employs an empty homes officer to work with owners of empty properties to assist them in bringing them back into use.

“The officer is also able to enforce against empty homes, where working with the owner does not prove productive.

“This can be through means such as empty dwelling management orders and compulsory purchase.”

Over the past five years, more than 130 empty homes have been brought back into use by the city council.

In a recent report, city council officers described empty properties as a visual blight which become a hotspot for fly tipping, anti-social behaviour and other criminal activities.

The same report highlighted how the empty houses put a strain on public services by becoming a place for vermin to gather or by water leaks being left unnoticed to create extensive structural damage.