Hundreds of empty homes to be brought back into use

27 May 2022

A five year strategy to bring 1,000 empty homes across Cheshire West and Chester back into use will be discussed by Cabinet on 8 June.

Councillors will decide whether to adopt the Council’s new Empty Homes Strategy 2022-27 which, following a 12 week consultation between December 2021-February 2022, has garnered strong support for its plan to unlock the housing potential of long-term empty homes. 

Councillor Matt Bryan, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Climate Emergency, said:

“We have already been successful in recent years in reducing the number of long-term empty homes across the borough. More than 965 long-term empty homes were returned to use following the last strategy in 2016.

“Our new strategy aims to bring another 1,000 empty homes back into use over the next five years; this target is ambitious, but realistic and achievable.

“The Council is committed to continuing to reduce the number of long-term empty homes, to make use of this wasted resource, provide more housing for those in need and improve neighbourhoods.”

The strategy sets out to achieve its aims by combining enforcement activity with innovative initiatives, including specialist guidance, loan support and grant assistance.

The Council will contact every empty home owner to enquire of their plans for their property and explain the options available to them to bring it back into use.

We will encourage eligible property owners to access numerous funding streams which are available, such as the Empty Homes Grant and Conversion Grant.

We will also take enforcement action in certain specific circumstances such as enforced sales or compulsory purchase orders. 

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