St Albans City and District Council is taking action to bring long-term empty private homes back into use, in response to an urgent need for housing locally.
An Empty Homes Officer has been appointed to encourage owners of vacant homes to make them suitable and available for occupation.
It is estimated that there are 400 empty private homes in the district, although the real number may be much higher.
Councillor Brian Ellis, Portfolio Holder for Housing for St Albans City and District Council, said: “We live in an area that has acute housing need, but at the same time we know there are hundreds of empty private homes in the district. The Council has decided to tackle this problem by appointing an Empty Homes Officer to liaise with the property owners about bringing these homes back into use.”
Where there is no improvement, enforcement action will be considered. The Council has access to a range of powers, including the ability to order the owner to make the property safe and secure.
Properties become empty and fall into disrepair for a variety of reasons. They may have been inherited or rented out. The owner may lack the funds or the skills to repair and manage the property, or they may be waiting to sell.
If you suspect that a property may be empty and abandoned, please call the Council’s Private Sector Housing team on 01727 819447 or email us at housing @stalbans.gov.uk.
Cllr Brian Ellis, Portfolio Holder for Housing, St Albans City and District Council
Tel: 01582 767621
Contact for the media:
Ruth Boyer, Communications Officer, St Albans City and District Council
Tel: 01727 819316; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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