Coactiva helps Lichfield District Council identify empty properties to be brought back into use
Published by Amy Bhavra for Coactiva, part of the Callcredit Information Group in Local Government and also in Housing
Thanks to the help of public sector specialist Coactiva, part of the Callcredit Information Group, Lichfield District Council has been able to identify 45 empty properties, which have now been brought back into use.
Lichfield District Council was aware of several hundred privately owned properties across the district which had been empty for between six months and two years. The Council needed to verify whether or not these properties remained unoccupied ahead of the annual council tax base return to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
Coactiva was able to utilise its extensive consumer information databases to quickly identify the current occupants at an address and advise Lichfield District Council which properties were actually occupied or empty. Lichfield was able to pinpoint 228 empty homes where the Council could work with the owners to bring the property back into use. The District Council also worked with Coactiva to identify 45 occupied properties where the current resident had not informed the Council that they had moved in.
These newly occupied properties could also generate in excess of £350,000 of New Homes Bonus grants from DCLG over the next six years.
Councillor Christopher Spruce, Cabinet Member for Finance, Democratic & Legal Services said: “Lichfield District Council is always keen to reduce the number of long-term empty houses in the district. Bringing empty homes back into use can provide homes for those who most need them and reduce of risk of vandalism and arson.
“The vast majority of householders in Lichfield District correctly inform the Council when they move in to a property. However, it is important for the council to ensure records are kept up-to-date when this doesn’t happen.
“Working alongside Coactiva we’ve been able to identify 45 properties that are eligible for valuable central government grants to bring them back into use. We’ve also identified 228 homes that are genuinely empty and can now be targeted by our Housing Strategy Team to find tenants and increase the number of available homes within the district.”
Andrew Davis, Director of Public Sector, Coactive said: “Local authorities increasingly have to achieve more with less and typically no longer have resource available to physically inspect empty properties on a regular basis. We are pleased to have been able to help Lichfield District Council claim vital funding from central government and identify which properties can be brought back into use by understanding exactly which properties are genuinely empty.
“Lichfield District Council will also be able to improve its council tax collection by confidently billing the correct current resident at each address using Coactiva’s unique name and move-in date intelligence.”