Sefton Council Supports Empty Homes Week

Before and after image of kitchen in refurbished empty home
SEFTON Council is backing National Empty Homes Week, which takes place November 28 – December 2, and is encouraging people to come forward to report any vacant houses. The Council’s Empty Homes Strategy and Action Plan (2014 – 2018) aims to help bring long term empty properties back into occupation to provide much needed homes within the area. Since the Strategy was adopted in 2014, 101 homes have been brought back into use through informal and enforcement actions the Council has taken. One such success story is a property in Kew Road, Southport, which had been left empty for years and was in very poor condition because of neglect, fly-tipping, squatters and other anti-social behaviour issues. After exploring a number of options, Sefton Council took possession of the property under statutory powers and sold it at public auction.  The new owner completely transformed the property into a family home. Councillor Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Sefton Council is happy to be supporting national Empty Homes Week and raising awareness of what can be done about the issue. Bringing these properties back into use will increase the supply of housing, as well as enhancing and regenerating communities. “Trying to bring an empty property back into use, particularly when it is privately owned, can be a very challenging and complicated process. However, we’ve got a number of tools that can help home owners bring their property back into use including a ‘matchmaker’ scheme which puts potential purchasers in touch with owners of long term vacant properties.” If you own an empty property and want to discuss what options are available to bring it back into use, call Sefton Council on 0345 140 0845.”