Date Published: 09 July 2021
New figures show that the number of homes classed as long term empty has fallen in North Kesteven despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic.
The number of homes empty for more than 10 years has fallen from 19 to 15 – a reduction no doubt helped by legislation that means property owners in this category now have to pay a 400% council tax premium.
Empty Homes Officer Stewart James said: “The Council is also aware of a number of owners who are actively attempting to return their properties back into use and we are working hard to help them.
“However, it is not all good news as some owners have failed to respond to us or our partners E.ON to see if the Empty Homes Solution could find a way to bring their properties back into use.”
The Covid restrictions also prevented some owners from renovating their properties and even when the lockdown restrictions were eased to allow work to go on there were real issues in buying materials – particularly plaster and cement.
Despite this, whilst other local authorities have struggled to maintain their levels of empty properties during this demanding year – Government figures show almost a 20% increase in empty homes nationally – the story in North Kesteven is quite different.
Mr James said: “With the lockdown restrictions timetable being instigated it is hoped that the project will be able to continue its successful work of bringing empty homes back into use and utilise our partnership with E.ON to its full advantage and bring even more properties back into use during the rest of this year and into 2022.”
*If you have an empty home that you want to bring back into use you can contact Mr James at Stewart_James@n-kesteven.gov.uk