February 22, 2022 1.47 pm

Derelict homes blighting communities brought back into use

Some have stood empty for over a decade

By Local Democracy Reporter

Properties which have stood empty for up to 14 years are being brought back into use.

The houses are often sources of anti-social behaviour and sometimes have large unpaid debts associated with them.

North East Lincolnshire Council is working with EQUANS, local charities and community groups to find better uses for vacant houses.

The recovered properties will be used to accommodate homeless families, support charities or create community housing.

A problem Grimsby house which hasn’t had an occupier in 14 years has already been successfully taken over by East Marsh United.

Another property on the West Marsh saw regular fly-tipping since it became vacant five years ago, and the owner had council debts of more than £15,000.

A voluntary acquisition was negotiated which saw the house become emergency accommodation for families, and the debts repaid.

A derelict house in South ward which was causing significant problems to the community after standing empty for 12 years was also acquired and demolished.

A charity which assists vulnerable adults has taken over a property in Heneage which hasn’t been used for nine years, while a nearby one was converted into a quality HMO for key workers.

Since Cabinet approved the strategy last year, 35 properties have been brought back into use by EQUANS’ empty property.

Grants from £5000 to £15,000 have been given to groups in order for them to meet the costs of taking over properties.

A total of 1,776 properties in North East Lincolnshire are considered to be long term empty, meaning they have stood vacant for more than six months.

Of these, 218 have been empty for more than five years.

The houses which have stood empty for the longest are continually reviewed by the Empty Property team.

The refurbishment is also creating jobs, with the East Marsh Construction employing ten local people to work on community turning them into housing.

The update on the Empty Properties Strategy will go before the council’s Economy Scrutiny panel on March 1.