Supporting Empty Homes Week

Published on: Wednesday, 02-December-2015

The council is supporting National Empty Homes Week, which raises awareness of the problems caused by empty properties and how they can be tackled.

Bringing empty homes back into use brings numerous benefits to Knowsley. It makes the most of our existing housing stock, provides suitable family homes for people struggling to find a place to live and improves the neighbourhood and surrounding areas.

Over the last four years, the council has returned more than 350 long term empty properties back into use through a mixture of providing support and advice to owners and, where necessary, taking enforcement action.

The council has used various types of enforcement to deal with the more problematic empty homes with more than 100 enforcement processes initiated.

Most notably, we are the only council in the Liverpool City Region to use powers known as Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMO). On nine occasions, we have successfully used these powers, which enable us to take over the management of an empty property and, if necessary, carry out refurbishment works in order to bring it back into use.

Since 2011 we have achieved a 72% reduction in properties that had been empty for a minimum of five years and a 47% reduction in properties that had been empty for over two years.

Tacking empty properties remains a priority for the council – so much so that £300,000 has been made available from council reserves to build on the progress we have made since 2011. We are currently developing a new Empty Homes Strategy and one of our primary aims is to eradicate any properties that have been empty for five years or more by 2020. Keep a look out for consultation of this strategy over the next few weeks.

If you have, or know of, an empty home in your area please ring 0151 443 5837 or visit our website for more information.