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Empty Homes

Bringing Empty Homes Back Into Use

 

In August 2014 there were 143 properties in Bedford Borough that had been empty for five years or more.  By February 2018 this had been reduced to 97 - a reduction of 32%.  Bedford Borough Council is working hard to reduce the number of empty homes in the borough. Empty flats and houses are a wasted resource and can have a negative impact on the environment and local community when they could be providing a home for a local person or family. 

 

Between 2006 / 2007 and 2017 / 2018, 1366 properties have been brought back in to use thanks to the direct intervention of the Council. Bedford Borough Council is actively encouraging owners of empty properties to bring them back into occupation by maintaining regular contact with them.

 

The Council has £2.89 million to fund the compulsory purchase of empty properties where owners fail to take action. Monies received from the sale of acquired properties are re-invested into the capital programme to enable the purchase of more empty homes which are then returned to occupation.

 

Cllr Colleen Atkins said: “We are pleased with the success achieved by our Empty Homes programme to date and will continue to focus our efforts on bringing empty properties back in to use. There is such a demand for housing and filling these empty homes also has a positive effect on the neighbourhood, reducing the blight empty properties can cause to local communities.”

 

Individuals and local communities can play an important role in assisting the Council to bring empty homes back into use by reporting empty properties to the Housing Strategy Team via email: Housing.strategy@bedford.gov.uk or refer to the Council’s website via http://www.bedford.gov.uk/emptyhomes  

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