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Empty homes – you can help!

Published20th October 2017

Ipswich Borough Council has launched a new campaign to get more empty homes back into use – and needs your help!

An empty home is a wasted home. An empty property can increase crime and anti-social behaviour, squatters and fly-tipping. And that isn’t good for neighbours, whether they are tenants or home-owners.

But owners of empty homes can lose out financially, with council tax bills of 150%, increased maintenance costs and insurance and a loss in potential rental income.

The Council’s Housing portfolio-holder, Councillor Neil MacDonald, said: “We are determined to get more empty homes back into use. We are having increasing success – through talking to owners to find out why homes are empty, by offering advice and support but, as a last resort, using the powers of compulsory purchase. But residents can play their part, too, by telling us if they know of a long-term empty property.”

The latest information campaign coincides with Empty Homes Week this week.

The Council brought 50 empty homes back into use in 2016 / 2017 and is well on the way to meeting that target again this year.

Landlords or owners of empty properties could be eligible for an Empty Homes Renovation Grant of up to £10,000 to bring a property back into use that has been empty for more than a year. The Council also has an agreement with local estate agents and auctioneers who will charge an owner reduced fees when selling a long-term empty property.

If you want to report a long-term empty home via the website on www.ipswich.gov.uk/content/report-empty-property or by calling 01473 433033.

Caption: Council Leader David Ellesmere with Technical Officer Housing Danny Newman at a house in Kemball Street now on sale after it was compulsorily purchased by the Council.