16
December
2012
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00:00
Europe/London

Leeds makes empty properties a priority


 Leeds is continuing to turn round empty homes in a drive to provide more housing in the city.



Progress has already been made with 1526 homes being brought back into use as a direct result of actions by the council in the first half of the year.



Reducing the number of long term empty properties is a top 25 priority for the council and funding to address empty properties is a key issue. Leeds has had access to the



West Yorkshire Recycling Empties Fund which has allowed the council to undertake compulsory purchase action and enforced sales in recent years.



Work is already on going to develop closer working with new partners to improve the options available to owners to bring properties back into use. This will allow more owners to help themselves and will allow the Council to concentrate its resources on properties where the owner is not willing to bring it back into occupation without proactive enforcement, including compulsory purchase.



Earlier this year the executive board agreed in principle to agree a three year investment programme to support empty property work with the money supporting locality work and capital investment in empty properties. The Council is currently discussing the target areas that this funding will be used for.



Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:

“Bringing empty homes back into use is a top priority for the council and something that we are making good progress.



“We know that no single action will bring empty properties into use so the council is working with partners to look at the wider scale of empty properties in the private sector too. Recently with support from the council, Connect, LATCH, Canopy and GIPSIL were successful in obtaining empty property funding from the Homes and Communities Agency to bring back 48 long term empty properties by March 2015.



Ends



For media enquiries, please contact;

Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk