Cotswold District Council (CDC) has developed The Long-Term Empty Property Strategy to ensure long-term empty properties are brought back into use to provide quality affordable homes to residents in housing need.
It is designed to identify homes that have been vacant for more than six months and support owners in making them available for occupation.
At the end of August 2019 Cotswold district had 648 properties classed as being empty for more than six months. Cllr Lisa Spivey, Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness said: “The aim of this strategy is to identify empty properties, find their owners and provide help and support to bring homes back into use. As a last resort, we would use enforcement measures to make sure unsafe and unsightly homes are not left to negatively impact our towns, villages and ultimately, our residents.”
A dedicated empty homes officer has now been appointed by the Council to work with property owners and explore the options available to them and an empty property database established.
When properties become empty, the council will try to locate owners and offer advice on how to bring the homes back into use. When this is not successful the council will move onto formal enforcement measures against the owner that could ultimately include a compulsory purchase order or enforced sale.
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