National Empty Homes Week this week (15-21 February) is an opportunity for local authorities, housing providers and community organisations to let people know about their work.
It aims to raise awareness of the waste of long-term empty homes, campaign for changes to national policy, provide advice for those seeking to bring empty homes back into use, and develop ideas for bringing long-term empty homes back into use for those in housing need.
Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT) has a dedicated Empty Homes Officer whose remit is to identify and bring empty homes back into use; providing information, advice and guidance to owners.
Cllr Fran Smith, Executive Member for Housing Services, said: “The Council is committed to tackling the number of empty homes in the district which are often an eyesore and adversely affect the neighbourhood.
“Bringing empty homes back into use makes great sense as it not only increases their value and improves the area but allows the Council to access funding from the Government as well. Our work in this area also demonstrates our commitment to creating sustainable and thriving communities across our districts.”
The Council provides encouragement and support to owners of empty homes, but also has measures for appropriate enforcement action, when necessary.
In addition, loans of up to £30,000 (subject to terms and conditions) can be applied for with ‘Lendology’ our loan provider, and property leasing options are available from ‘Home First Plus’.
For more information see our web page at www.somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk/housing/private-sector-housing/empty-homes/
You can also report the location of any empty homes that you are aware of to the Empty Homes Officer, Steven Perry, on 01823 219771 or by email: S.Perry@somerdsetwestandtaunton.gov.uk