An ambitious plan to bring 500 empty homes in Denbighshire back into use has been launched.
Denbighshire County Council will raise awareness, take a pro-active approach to target problematic sites and work closely with landlords to reduce the number of empty homes in the county as part of its Empty Homes Delivery Plan.
Cllr Tony Thomas, lead member for Housing, Regulation and the Environment, said:
“Homes may lie empty for a variety of reasons including difficulty in tracing or establishing ownership, an inability to sell, family disputes and in other cases the property may need significant work or the owner has an unrealistic value.
“The aim of this plan is to unlock the housing potential of long-term empty homes. We have a package of financial assistance which provides grants and loans and we also provide advice and support. However, there will be times when it is necessary to use enforcement measures, particularly in cases where owners are unwilling to engage with us.
“Bringing these homes back into use helps provide more accommodation for residents in the county, which is a priority for us.”
As part of the plan the Council will raise awareness of the empty homes in the county and the role it can play in assisting to bring them forward for beneficial re-use.
This will include the range of advice and assistance available to owners as well as tackling empty homes that have become a focus for crime, antisocial behaviour and neglect.
The Council will use a range of enforcement powers which could include compulsory purchasing properties which are causing the most harm to the area in which they sit.
Cllr Thomas added:
“This plan will help us reduce the number of long term empty homes, see a reduction in the use of temporary accommodation and levels of homelessness by increasing access to private rented sector housing and result in rejuvenated and more settled neighbourhoods.
“We would also expect to see more attractive and sustainable neighbourhoods and a reduction in the levels of vandalism, arson, drug use and other anti-social behaviour focused around empty homes.”