Bid to tackle housing shortage

OWNERS of empty properties are being urged to rent them out in a bid to tackle the housing shortage and improve run-down areas.England has more than 750,000 empty homes and 400 of these are in Mid-Suffolk, which is a waste of existing resources, according Steve Brightwell, senior private sector housing officer.

By Amanda Cresswell

OWNERS of empty properties are being urged to rent them out in a bid to tackle the housing shortage and improve run-down areas.

England has more than 750,000 empty homes and 400 of these are in Mid-Suffolk, which is a waste of existing resources, according Steve Brightwell, senior private sector housing officer.

He said: "Empty homes can become a target for vandalism and anti-social behaviour and may even devalue neighbouring properties.


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"Putting empty homes to better use is one way of tackling the problem."

It is estimated by effectively renewing empty homes, the council could reduce the number of newly built properties by a third. This can also help regenerate run-down areas.

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Mid Suffolk District Council just has launched it empty homes strategy to put these properties to better use.

Among the aims are to enhance the local environment, increase availability of tenanted properties, reduce the need to develop on greenfield sites, reduce vandalism and tackle homelessness.

The council is urging home owners who are unsure what to do with their unoccupied properties to consider renting them out on a short term basis.

Various schemes are in place to help owners and landlords convert, repair or let property.

The council has also come up with some tips for absent owners:

n Do not board up the windows and doors.

n Fit or keep curtains and net curtains.

n Keep some items of furniture in the property.

n Do not let the garden become unkempt.

n Inform the post office and newspaper distributors.

nVisit regularly where possible.

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