New bid to target empty homes
Published Thursday 10th January 2013
A new scheme to target long-term empty homes in Ipswich has been launched by the Borough Council.
"Report it empty" allows members of the public to make the Council aware of properties they believe have remained unoccupied for more than six months.
Empty homes can cause problems to neighbours, fall into disrepair and in some circumstances attract anti-social behaviour. The scheme gives residents the power to help Council staff identify these homes and allow an investigation to be carried out.
Over the past year, Ipswich Borough Council has introduced a number of new tools to tackle empty homes, which have proved to be successful. It is hoped "Report it empty" will help continue this success by providing an extra link to the public to report homes that might otherwise have slipped through the net.
Councillor John Mowles, the Council's Housing portfolio-holder, said: "We are determined to tackle empty homes in the town. Most could be brought back into use to house families in need of accommodation and we offer advice and support to owners. It is important to remember that an empty property raises no income for the owner; an occupied property provides a home and income.
"We don't want to see homes remain empty for any longer than is absolutely necessary. The advice and incentives will, we would hope, be sufficient to achieve this in the majority of cases. However, the Council does have Compulsory Purchase Powers that can be pursued if necessary and we are prepared to take that path as a last resort if all else fails. In fact, a decision to serve notice of compulsory purchase has been taken in respect of six properties in the past six months."
If you own an empty home and would like further information on the schemes to help you bring it back into use please contact the Council's Private Sector Housing Team on 01473 433003.
To report an empty home, complete the Report it Empty online form.