Owners of Liverpool's top 1,000 empty properties go on council hit-list
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Development, Local Government
Empty homes street
Liverpool City Council is putting together a 'hit-list' of the top 1,000 empty properties in the city in a pledge to take firm action on the problem.
The council has begun contacting owners to encourage them to bring their properties back into use as quickly as possible - and is warning them that enforcement action will be taken if necessary.
The clampdown is part of the city's three-year ‘Bringing Empty Homes Back Into Use’ programme, which aims to tackle void properties across Liverpool, deal with problem landlords and improve the standard of the city’s rented accommodation.
Owners are being asked why their property is vacant and whether there are any barriers preventing them from bringing it back into use.
The council hopes that the new push, backed up by the powers to take enforcement action, will prompt many more owners to take the necessary action to bring their properties back into use.
The top 1,000 empty properties have been prioritised according to the following criteria:
• Whether the property falls within one of the priority areas identified in the city’s Empty Homes Plan
• The impact the property is having in an area
• The level of complaints received
• The level of outstanding debt owed to the council
Liverpool’s Empty Homes programme supports the Mayor of Liverpool’s pledge to deliver 5,000 new and refurbished homes for the city by 2016.
Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Ann O’Byrne, said: “We are absolutely determined to bring empty homes across the city back into use and provide valuable homes for our residents. Identifying and targeting this hit list is a hugely important part of our work to achieve that.
“Properties left vacant blight our neighbourhoods and are a wasted resource. They can lead to a reduction in overall property values and can deteriorate rapidly, causing real problems for the community – including the accumulation of rubbish, vermin infestations, the risk of injury to children who enter buildings and arson.
“This clampdown sends out the message loud and clear that we are serious about tackling this problem. Supported by our 10 point pledge for landlords, we will work with owners to encourage them to bring their properties back into use. Where enforcement is necessary, we will have no hesitation in taking action.”
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