03/02/20: Empty homes issue to be tackled by Breckland Council

Breckland Council has announced a new Empty Homes support programme to help bring long-term empty homes back into use in Private Rented Sector.

Long term empty homes is a problem that affects the whole of the UK, with empty properties often attracting anti-social behaviour and crime as well as social issues and urban decay. The new programme by Breckland Council is committed to changing that cycle of decay and  tackling the housing issue head on by reducing the number of empty properties in the district. Financial support will be offered to home owners in need of help to make their empty property house habitable,  in return for making the property available to house people from the Housing Register and reducing homelessness. Breckland Council will also be revisiting homeowners who have previously failed to cooperate in bringing their properties up to habitable standards and will consider  enforcement measures to ensure empty properties do not decay in the community and meet the decent homes standard. 

Empty homeowners within the Breckland district could now access up to £11,500 in grants as part of this programme to bring long term empty properties back into use, subject to eligibility. The grant can cover a wide range of work on the property, however the property must meet the "Decent Homes standard" upon completion. To fully qualify for the grants scheme the home owner has to agree to let the property to people from the housing register for a period time, ensuring local residents benefit from increased local accommodation options.

 A Breckland Council spokesperson/Cllr Allison Webb, Executive Member for Health and Housing commented "Bringing empty homes back into public use will not only help meet the housing needs of local people who are looking for quality local  accommodation, but also stop empty homes becoming a magnet for anti-social behaviour, crime and decay in our community. We are quickly identifying properties in our area that need work, however if any local residents know or live by a property that has been empty more than 6 months, please contact us so our Empty Homes Housing Team can investigate further." If you know about an empty property within the Breckland district, please report it at  Privatesector.Housing@breckland.gov.uk or visit www.breckland.gov.uk/housing-emptyhomes

Last updated: 03/02/2020 14:31:17