As national Empty Homes Week takes place next week, Corby Borough Council reflects back on successfully returning over 250 long term empty homes in our Borough as figures of such properties falls below 50 for the very first time in well over a decade.
Latest Government data suggests that there are over 200,000 homes that have been empty for over six months. Some of these may not stay empty (if they are on the market, or are being renovated) but others stay empty for much longer periods, perhaps because of inheritance issues or because their owners are holding on to the property hoping for a rise in its value before selling it.
It was just 5 years ago that Corby had in excess of 300 long term empty homes but with an active strategy, councillor support and a dedicated Empty Homes Officer employed, impressive results and outcomes have been achieved.
These results have not just increased affordable housing numbers in Corby but have also had a positive impact on communities. By refurbishing and repairing empty homes it also improves the look and feel of neighbourhoods as a derelict property can attract problems, such as fly tipping, vandalism and arson.
Corby Borough Council’s Lead Member for Environment, Cllr Mark Pengelly, said:
‘At a time where there is simply not enough affordable housing we know that we cannot afford to waste long term empty properties. England needs about 240,000 to 245,000 additional homes each year to meet newly arising demand, and nearly one third of those homes need to be at below market prices and rents.
‘Along with building new affordable housing, bringing empty homes back into use is central to the Council’s vision of ensuring that Corby is a place where people want to live, want to work and want to invest. Ensuring that the existing housing stock is fully utilised is vital.’
If you know of an empty home, or wish to discuss one, please contact Corby Borough Council’s Empty Homes Officer Paul Palmer on 01536 464175 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.