Plans to bring empty homes back into use in Chesterfield have been adopted by Chesterfield Borough Council.
The council’s cabinet has approved the Private Sector Empty Homes Strategy 2016-2020, which outlines how the council aims to bring empty properties back into use.
There are currently 490 empty properties in Chesterfield with approximately 1,500 applications currently on the council’s housing waiting list.
Bringing these homes back into use will give opportunities for people currently on the waiting list to buy or rent their own homes.
It will also allow the council to receive funding from the Government through the New Homes Bonus and receive Council Tax income when the properties are occupied.
The council would always prefer to work informally with property owners to bring empty homes back into use; however, where these negotiations prove unsuccessful, the new strategy means that the council can now consider measures such as compulsory purchase or enforced sale of the property in order to return the property back to use.
These interventions will only be considered where all other intervention has proved unsuccessful.
Councillor Tom Murphy, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for housing said: “Empty homes are bad news for neighbours who often have to put up with vandalism and anti-social behaviour and can see value of their own property decrease.
“Leaving properties empty can also see a significant reduction in funds for the council, which can be used to improve the services we offer to our residents so it makes sense for everyone that we put plans in place to tackle the problem and bring these homes back into use.”
The new strategy takes into account changes in the housing market in Chesterfield over recent years.