This week is National Empty Homes Week and Bedford Borough Council are encouraging residents to shout out if they know of any unoccupied and disused homes.
The Government estimates that there are 200,000 houses in the UK currently unoccupied and with the demand for new housing accelerating year on year, the Government and local councils are committed to using the potential to be found in disused houses.
While some may argue that Home Owners have the right to their ownership, there is an undeniable need for affordable housing and unused properties attract problems such as fly tipping, vandalism and arson. Empty Homes Agency, a charity which campaigns for empty homes to be brought back into use, told us “Most people see the sense in turning empty properties into homes, but progress depends in practice on governments, property owners, local authorities, community and housing organisations all being willing and able to take action.”
Bedford Borough is now allocating nearly £3million to fund the compulsory purchase of properties where owners fail to take action to bring their empty property back into use. Cllr Colleen Atkins, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Regulation said “We’re working hard to reduce the number of empty homes in the borough. If you own one of these empty properties, please come and talk to us to discuss your options and see what help we can provide.
“If you know about an empty home, please report it to our Housing Strategy team at www.bedford.gov.uk/
Image courtesy of Empty Homes.