Bringing empty homes back into use in the Forest of Dean

This week marks Empty Homes Week 2018 and the Forest of Dean District Council is working with the national campaign charity “ Empty Homes “ to highlight the 300,000 long term unoccupied houses in the UK. In the Forest of Dean there are currently 466 residencies that are vacant and unused and of these 31 are undergoing major repair works.

It is estimated that an empty property can cost the owner up to £10,000 per year in security, repairs, insurance and council tax. Empty homes are a waste of a valuable asset especially when more than 2145 people are registered on our Homeseeker waiting list. The local authority charges a 100 % charge on council tax for any house left empty for more than 6 months.

The Council has the power to enforce Empty Dwelling Management Orders and Compulsory Purchase Orders but we are keen to work with and support owners to bring their houses back into use. Councillor Richard Leppington UKIP cabinet member for housing said “ Our council is fully supporting National Empty Homes Week because empty homes are a waste of a valuable asset, especially when there are around 534 local people in priority need. If you have an empty property that you could let to someone on our Homeseekers waiting list then please contact us as soon as possible”

Yet another example of UKIP in power at a local level working for our disadvantaged people