Council calls upon residents to be on look out for empty properties going to waste

Everyone can do their bit to help bring empty properties back into use.

That’s the message from North Kesteven District Council, which is encouraging residents, parish and town councils and police officers to report any concerns they have about empty buildings in their area.

The authority has an Empty Homes Officer who works with other officers to bring properties back into use and a working group meets monthly to look at current cases and how they can be progressed.

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Since 2011 more than 100 homes in the district have been brought back into use by the council, rehousing more than 100 families in the process. Last year’s target of 20 was exceeded, with 21 achieved, and figures are showing the target for 2016-17 is on track.

Properties can become vacant for a number of reasons, including a change in personal circumstances, inheriting a property or the ill health of an owner.

Homes that remain empty unnecessarily can cause a range of issues for the district and the people who live nearby - from social problems in communities to pushing up prices with fewer houses on the market.

Coun Stewart Ogden, Executive Board Member for Housing, said: “We need everyone to be our eyes and ears when it comes to empty properties. If you know of somewhere that’s empty and shouldn’t be please report it to us as there are steps we can take to bring it back into use.”

Anyone concerned about an empty property, or anyone who owns an empty property that would like support or advice, can contact the council by calling 01529 414155.